Friday Question of the Day – How Much Did You Pay for Your Home or Condo?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jamelle Bouie

Last week @gingermoored tweeted this startling fact:

“CFO’s office predicts the average DC home will cost $938k in FY19, up from $771k this year.”

Last year we spoke about how much we pay in rent and since we’re able to maintain a certain level of anonymity and because I’m just curious – if you feel comfortable sharing – how much did you pay for your house/condo? Of course, please include the neighborhood and year bought for some perspective. If you can include number of beds/baths that’d be helpful too. Condo/coop fee? And anything else you think would provide some perspective.

334 Comment

  • Condo – 800 block of 4th st sw (sw waterfront) – 686 sq ft – purchased Dec 2010 for $237k. Zestimate is around $315k

    • 2-br townhouse, also in SW, about $450k in late 2012. Could probably sell it now for about $100k more, but where would I go? Condo fee about $500/month.

      • $250,000 for a town house in Adams Morgan about a dozen years ago. Maybe worth $950,000 in today’s market.

  • House four blocks from Petworth metro. 4BD/3.5BR renovated. $600K in 2011

  • 2 unit NE townhouse in Capitol Hill historic district – 2 br, 1.5 bath up, studio apartment down, 1600 square feet total. Purchased for $649,000 in 2013.

  • tonyr

    Condo – late 2010, 990 sq ft 2 bed, 2 bath for $365K (talked them down from $400K) with $200 per month fees. 900 block of 9th St. NW.

    As an aside, there was a thread last week where lots of folk indicated that they would sell up and move somewhere cheaper once they’d retired. Assuming that the mortgage was cleared (I have about four years left), where would the cheaper location be? Seems to me that transportation, vacations, health care, utilities, entertainment etc.etc. are pretty consistent regardless of location. I think that DC offers a pretty good quality of life for free including culture (museums, galleries, embassies), parks, other activities etc. So how do these other locations save you money, other than cheaper happy hours? Not trying to be a dick for those who are struggling, but interested in other peoples’ perspective.

  • Brentwood Condo 702sq ft Oct 2009 for 194k 2bd/1.5ba Zestimate is 246k, but places that are pending are 280-290k, so I’m hoping they sell soon. original condo fee was 150 now at 245

  • I paid 745. Single family home. 3 bed 2 baths 1450 sq ft. Unfinished basement. Palisades.

  • Southern Petworth near GA ave metro. Rowhouse 4 beds 3.5 baths. Paid 775K in August 2014

  • HaileUnlikely

    $285K, Takoma (near north end of Walter Reed complex), fall 2012. 3 BR, 2.5 BA, ~1200ish sqft, plus unfinished basement (which seller represented not only as finished but as a bedroom). House was a foreclosure, owned by Fannie Mae, bought through the HomePath program, which only accepts offers from owner-occupants for first 20 days on the market. It obviously suffered from decades of neglect, but was also actively trashed by the previous owner upon news of the foreclosure, or so the neighbors tell me. I was able to make it safe and livable (not fabulous, but safe and stable and habitable) for about $35K.

  • Col heights off 11th st. Purchased in 2009 as short sale for 325k. 4 level th @ around 2400 sq ft.

    • Best deal on here, thus far. Probably worth close to double by now.

      • Depending on how well it’s been done up, surely it’s worth more than double? Its a whole house and massive (I’m guessing there’s a sub-grade level that doesn’t even count in the 2400swft).
        I bought a condo off 11th in CH in may last year for $540k. It’s a 1000sqft, 2 bed, 2 bath. The selling point was the double parking space. I know some friends who paid $725k for a 1200sqft condo off 11th last year as well. Their place is a newer renovation, with a roof deck.
        I’m thinking a whole house around here would be worth more than a 2 bed, 2 bath condo with a rood deck. Agreed that this is sounding like the best deal on here so far.

      • The Bloomingdale place from 2009, IDGI or the Shaw rowhouse with a rental are the new best deals. I’m voting for the Shaw w/ rental because of the rental.

        • justinbc

          A deal is relative though. It’s hard to compare a purchase from the 90s to something from today and really call it a “deal”. More like a wise investment.

          • Best deal or best investment. Investment was implied, of course. Doesn’t look like we have any turn and burns here.

          • I Dont Get It

            “Lucky” investment in my case.

          • We just need to find the next hot area and buy like mad!

          • justinbc

            One of our investment properties in Ivy City has appreciated about $70K in a little over a year, with nothing done to it…FWIW. (4 unit building bought for $418K now valued at $490K)

          • Because of the market and such being built nearby or simply the DC market doing it’s thing? In your opinion, of course.
            I like Eckington for the sort of suburb thing it has going on. Ivy City or Trinidad might have a similar feel. I’ve never wanted to be on a main drag.

          • justinbc

            There are / have been probably half a dozen announcements about stuff being built right by it since we bought it, which have definitely helped. The Mom’s, Nike, Hechts etc remodel that’s going on definitely help in an area that’s been relatively retail starved. Part of it I’m sure is just DC doing the infill thing…everywhere by a Metro is already $$$, so the only place left to go is in between the lines.

    • Seems like a great deal! We have a 4 bed/3.5 bath rowhouse on 11th in Col Heights for $640K in 2011.

  • marv

    Bloomingdale 4 bed 2.5 bath renoed 650-675

  • 347k. Two story semi-detached Victorian in Trinidad with a huge lot and 2-car garage in the back. Purchased in 2010. Had been recently renovated.

  • $446k for a 3+ bdrm, 1.5 ba bungalow in 16th St. Heights in 2012. Lot of work, but totally worth it.

  • $118,000 for 2BR 1.5 bath townhouse in Mt Pleasant in 1998, current value 650,000+
    Newly renovated house a few streets with similar sq footage sold for $750,000 (my house is not so fancy)

  • 350K. 2008. Foreclosed 1 br condo in Logan Circle.

  • 290k for foreclosure in Petworth near metro in 2010. Around another 300k for complete reno with addition. Scary at the time, but worth it now.

    • Did you by chance use an 203K loan? If so how was that process?

      • Yes, we did. The process was pretty painful. The scope of work and plans basically need to be approved before you even buy the house. And it’s pretty much impossible to get detailed plans and an accurate scope of work together for a gut reno in that timeframe. It is very very difficult to make changes along the way and there is a ton of paperwork. Contractors hate it since they don’t get paid until after stages of the work are done (no pre-payment).

        That said, the overall experience was still good and we love our house. Looking back on the process gives me a migraine, though. We were able to refi out of the FHA into a conventional pretty quickly after the reno was done given our sweat equity, which got rid of the PMI. It is also my understanding that the upfront MIP went up quite a bit, along with other FHA fees, since 2010.

        For reference, the house was originally 1150sf 3bed/1ba. Post-Reno it is 3 bed/2.5 bath 1850sf. (Neither includes the basement)

        • justinbc

          For anyone looking for that type of property you should also look into the Fannie Mae HomeStyle mortgage (very different than HomePath). Personally, I think it offers a better tool for a total remodel, but it requires just slightly more down up front (5% vs 3.5%).

        • Well I already own my home but looking to refinance and do a 203K loan so. I owe about $320k on my current mortgage and thinking if I do a full reno for about 250K and I’d gain atleast another 150k in value based on what the flips are going for now. So I’m trying to find out more about this process.

          • justinbc

            My previous comment is still trying to post, but check into the Fannie Mae HomeStyle program. I think you’ll find it more accommodating.

        • brookland_rez

          I went the FHA route when I bought, but not a 203K. My house barely qualified. I spent a year fixing things up and was able to refinance a year later into a conventional and drop the PMI due to the increased value of my sweat equity.

  • 600K approx. 2700sqft. 4bd/3.5bths basement rental…
    Im more curious as to what the budgets are for those that are looking to buy.

    • I second your curiousity. More and more, I am afraid that my partner and I will be priced out of the market by the time we are ready to purchase a house.

      • My curiosity is driven by this thought- I own 2 properties and thinking that I may want to sell one of them, but I don’t want to sell it on open market. I’d like to find a young family or something whom are looking for their first home. I have a certain number that I want to make in profit and as long the final numbers meet that I’d be happy with that vs. listing it and trying to get more/higher offers….Just something I’ve been thinking about.

        • justinbc

          You can always just make it for sale by owner, then personally meet every candidate.

        • Or you could list it and get a statement from each person if you don’t have time to meet everyone. You certainly don’t have to take the highest offer if you decide to list it.
          Good on your for thinking of young families.

          • I’m trying to save on the realtor fees which I can then pass on to the buyers. I’d just want to higher a title company/attorney to process the sale.

          • If you have the time, it makes sense. If not, redfin is only 1% fee.

          • I have often been curious about these letters to sellers, and preferences for certain types of borrowers. Do people not run into fair housing issues? If you’re not selling to the highest bidder, how do you avoid charges of discrimination? As well-intentioned as it genuinely is in this case, surely this strategy *could* be used by people who think a “nice young family” = “white young family”, for example. (Also, I have heard of evil “investors” trotting out families and sob-stories in order to “win” bids this way.) Interested in others’ thoughts, as I am not a legal professional, obviously. Just a curious observer.

        • So we did similar – we sold our 1 bedroom to a young professional looking for their 1st place in a pet friendly building – she had recently had to put her dog to sleep and where she was living decided to go pet-free (with current pet owners grandfathered in but not allowed to replace a pet). Even though we could have gotten a little more, I wanted to sell to someone who would really love the place. You could easily FSBO or ask for statements. You just want to make sure the financing is there for them.

          • Wow – personally I would never rent or sell to anyone who chose to kill their pet simply because it was a little more difficult to find a place to live. That is a horrible person.

          • I think you’re misreading — my impression was that the young woman didn’t put the dog to sleep as a result of the building going pet-free.
            My reading was that the building went pet-free, allowing all owners to keep their current pets but forbidding them to add any additional ones or to replace the pets when they passed away. So when the woman’s dog became ill enough to be put to sleep, she wasn’t going to be able to get another dog. But then she bought JinDC’s condo, and JinDC chose her in part because she knew that this recently bereaved dog owner would now have a chance to get a new dog.

        • Hearing your perspective gives folks like me hope that there’s a way to set down long-term roots in this town, if I’m in a position to think about buying in the next few years. Single living, non-profit working lady, but something tells me there’s a way.

        • This kind of thinking gives me hope. I’m a 20-something non-profit working woman; husband is graduating law school in May (and not going to a firm but govt). We have fallen in love with DC in our 4.5 years here but can’t imagine ever being able to afford anything. Currently (finishing the process of HPAP) our budget is around 300k. It’s daunting how little that amount seems here; and when working with HPAP how quickly anything in our budget can easily be outbid.

          We’re hoping to have all our ducks in a row to start shopping in June/July and now I have some confidence we won’t be bleeding out with rent forever! πŸ™‚

          • very exciting, melissa! i bought my first place (one bedroom condo) two blocks from petworth metro in 2008 for $240,000, with the support of HPAP. best decision of my life. i sold it for 300,000 last year, paid off all of my students loans and was able to have respectable amount left for another property. i don’t know where you’re at in the process but my unsolicited advice is to hang in there. the process will be exciting, fun, stressful, challenging, maddening, etc, but you guys will find something perfect for you. another good thing is that people are more familiar with it than in 2008, which should work in your favor so you have more options. good luck!

        • Why? I get where you are coming from but let me be the voiuce of reason, this is a business transaction, don’t make it emotional. You would essentially be handing money over to the “young family” who will in turn be more than glad to pocket that equity when they inevitably sell in a few years. If you truly wanted to help someone out…sell for what you can get and give money to your favorite charity.

      • I have been living in DC since 1998, I have been thru two booms and two busts. Advise you to save my money and wait. An opportunity will present itself. My sister told me, never buy a condo. When the market goes bad, condos are hard to sell and condo fees only go up, never down.

        • In DC opportunities are hard to come by. Most owners are not anonymous, so when great places come up (or even ok places that need some work) you’re getting bid up. Some people will never be able to simply save enough to buy a house, but they could buy the condo and sit on it for a while and use that equity to buy a house later.
          DC market is a bit unique. People want condos and developers are only going with apts, so I don’t think you’re sister’s thinking works here as well as some other cities, FWIW.

        • In a single-family home, your maintenance costs are only going up as well (thanks inflation). Unless you’re in a building with lots of amenities, your condo fees are probably just going to cover things you’d have to pay for in a house, anyway.

          • A condo appealed to me because I don’t want to cut grass or pay for leaking roofs. My fee covers water, common electric, landscaping a huge yard, etc. No real “amenities”, and I’m perfectly ok with it.

    • I’ve run the #s for myself. Looking on my own, I’d think about 425-50k which may end up being another investment as I think I can rent cheaper than the mortgage in most places I’d want to live. This would probably be a 1bd maybe smaller 2bd unless there is some awesome foreclosure house. Buying with a spouse (I assumed they made about the same as me) I’m looking around 700k.

    • We have almost the same deal. 3/2.5 up, 1/1 legal rental down, almost $600K, right at the Stadium Armory metro. 2700 sq ft.

  • justinbc

    $700K for 2 bed 2 bath ~1800 sqft house on corner lot in Capitol Hill in between Lincoln Park and H Street. Bought in May 2013, and we’ve put about $100K into various improvements on it so far to make it exactly what we want. Previous owner bought in 1998 for ~$90K.

  • Petworth – $400k – 2010; 3 beds, 2.5 baths.

  • $213,000 in 2009 for a Dupont studio, with my monthly fee it turns into about $1300/month and includes taxes, utilities, front desk and internet. Now I want a bedroom but don’t know if I can afford it yet. Need to investigate.

    • you’d be surprised what you can get for selling in the area still – our agent was excellent, and she lives in Dupont. Also, maybe you can rent out your studio for a profit and buy another place with less money down? Just an idea

  • I bought in Shaw on R St for $650k in 2010. 3 bed 3 bath upper unit, and 2 bed 2 bath 1st floor unit. I was only able to afford it because of the rental income covering 2/3 of the mortgage. Comps currently selling for 1.1-1.4 mil!

  • $187K in 1999 for a 2BR, 2 full BA, 879 sq feet condo in Dupont Circle.

  • 2011 in Petworth. Gutted and fully renovated 4BD 3 1/2BR Wardman. Three blocks from metro $600k

  • In Bloomingdale. High 200s in mid 2009. Maybe 30000 in sweat equity. Appraisal came in near 800 late last year. Still needs a lot of work.

  • $290K for a 3bd 2 ba condo in Takoma Park/Langley Park with 2 parking spots. $568 HOA fees (and increasing) for utilities, pool, gym facilities, management office, dog park, tennis court. Similar units have been reselling for about $315K, and will only go up if that Purple Line is ever built.

  • DC1

    $845K – Brightwood, this past year.

    • DC1

      Forgot to add:
      Bought a condo on 16th & Swann back in 2011 for $365k and sold (to buy the above house) in 2014 for $420k.

  • Bought in Brentwood 2010 for 230k 3 beds 2 baths used FHA loan got in for 3% down.
    Sold in 2014 for 390k. 2014 Bought 4 bed 3 bath in Brookland for 470k 15 year loan 3.25%

    • That sounds awesome!

    • Similar to you I purchased a fully renovated 3br/2ba house for 235k. I’ll be ready to sell in a few years, however similar properties near me are going for 399-450k. Once the Brookland Manor gets re-done I anticipate the prices to go even higher.

  • $370,000 in July 2012 for a 1 bed 1 bath 800 sq ft condo in Penn Quarter.

  • bloomingdale – 2br, 2.5ba condo in rowhouse. $625k in april 2014.

  • Petworth – grant circle area
    326k in 2009
    Foreclosure but didn’t need a gut job just making improvements here and there.
    4 beds 1.5 bathrooms around 1900 sq feet not including basement.

  • As a renter I can not fathom having the money to afford a 500k+ home. I need a new job!

    • Think of a condo as a savings account. Even if you don’t appreciate much after 5 years, you’re probably walking away with $60K in equity that you can use as a downpayment on a $600K house.

    • You can get a starter condo for less than that amount. Fannie Mae is now helping with closing costs too. The closing help was the only way I was able to buy in 2009 with a FHA (developer offered the closing help).

  • Buying one right now – Chillum Pl NE. Semi-detached, 3bd 2.5 bath, ~1000 sq ft (not counting the finished basement). Buying it from flippers for $437k.

  • Three bed, three bath row house with separate 1 bed, 1 bath english basement; 2500 sqft- on the same street one block from where the new H St Whole Foods will be. Purchased in 2012 for $578K and have since put in around $140K in renovations.

  • Bought a foreclosed house on the boarder of Bloomingdale and Shaw in 2009 for $440k – 2 unit house with a 3 bedroom upstairs (2.5 bath) and a 2bed (2 bath) basement rental. Had kids so moved up to Takoma DC in July 2013. Bought a 3 bed 3 bath bungalow (3 blocks from Metro) for $540k. Feel very, very fortunate for both properties.

  • $465K for a 3BR/2.5BA detached home.

    Sure, it’s not in DC, but after the mortgage interest and property tax deduction, we’re paying less than one month’s rent in a Cleveland Park 1BR apartment. Not hip, but totally worth it.

  • $765K 3br 1.5 bath 1,600 sq ft townhouse on G St NE (one block off of 12th and H)

  • $200K Upper Petworth near Kennedy & Georgia in 2009- 2bd/1ba condo; $230 HOA fees

  • $225k – 500 sq ft condo in Dupont, on Mass Ave. in 2014. It needed a tremendous amount of work.

  • $410k in 2010 for a 4 bed, 2 bath 1800 sq ft row house In Petworth. Has an English basement with full kitchen. Had central air added before we moved in. Replaced all windows and exterior doors. Added a conditioned garage / wood shop.

  • I Dont Get It

    218K for 3 bedroom 2 bath house in Logan/U. Yeah it was 1996. No way could I afford a house here on a non-profit salary now.

    • Any ideas on what that’s worth today?

    • I Dont Get It

      At the time I was embarrassed that I could only afford buying east of 16th St.

      • brookland_rez

        LOL funny how things change. When I got to DC in 2004 and started paying attention to the real estate market, friends told me how they bought a rowhouse in Glover Park in 1997 for $260K. By 2004 they were up to $800K. I remember being depressed that I couldn’t afford anything in the traditional “nice” parts of NW.

      • Now you are the people who make my crazed with jealousy!

        • I Dont Get It

          The grass is always greener…
          I sometimes think how I would like to live further in Shaw. Seems so suburban now where I live..

  • $430k in 2011 for a 2brdm 1 1/2 bath rowhouse in H Street/NOMA

  • we bought our detached 3 bedroom/3.5 bath house in southern Petworth for $610K in May 2014. Installed kitchen in basement to make it a studio apartment, replaced the roof and did some landscaping, and it was appraised 9 months later for $670K

    • How much did all the renovation cost? Replacing the roof and adding the a kitchen isn’t cheap! I bet the nice thing now is having that extra income from renting out the studio basement. When I look at rents around here, I image you could have half of your mortgage paid, if not more, from a basement studio rental.

      • It didn’t cost as much as you would think:

        – We had to replace the roof because when we bought it, there were 4 layers of shingles on there – but the seller gave us $9,000 for roof replacement at closing (it cost $12,000 total, so we had to pay $3,000 extra)

        – the basement was already sort of set up as a studio apt, just without a full kitchen. We bought all the appliances pre-owned off craigslist from people who were upgrading theirs – $650 for stainless steel stove/range and hood, matching microwave, dishwasher, and fridge. We bought one huge sheet of laminate countertop that looked like granite from Lowes for $90, that was the whole countertop. And then we bought brand new cabinets (sink base, 2 other base cabinets, 2 wall cabinets) from Ikea and put them together ourselves, which was a pain. Then there were little things, like $40 sink, $60 sink faucet, $20 lights, $20 countertop ends, etc. Our contractors charged us $1800 for running a water line through to kitchen and for labor of installing everything in the kitchen basement. So, after all was said and done, it probably cost $4,000 total. But now we charge $1200/month, which has more than paid us back for it.

        – Landscaping really makes the place look a lot nicer. When we bought, the backyard was all weeds and gravel. We weeded and put down dirt and then sod, and now we have a nice little backyard for lawn games and gatherings. We planted flowers and shrubs in the front as well

        Don’t forget you can deduct all these expenses on taxes, especially if your tenant benefits from it

  • Riggs Park
    3 bd, 1 fb, 2 hb, finished walk out basement

  • 3 level semi-detached th; 1640sf, 3br, 3.5ba (w/ in-law suite/kitchen), private garage, deck, and front and back yards. Near Potomac Ave metro. Bought in April 2014 for $750k w/ a VA loan. 4% interest, 3% down payment. Have put a few thousand worth of work into it. In planning to add a 4th level w/ 2 additional br and ba.

  • 2bd/1.5ba 702 sq ft condo in Brentwood Oct 2009 bought for 194k. Zestimate at 246k but comps will bring me to 280-290k. Original HOA was 150 now 245.

  • Eckington/NoMa $370K -three bedrooms- 1200 sq ft + 750 sq ft basement rental unit. Two car garage. I got it from the bank, was a forclosure. Payed down the mortgage to about $249k. Had to do lots and lots of work on it. The former owner comes round now and then to tell me I am living in his house! I get about two to three letters a week from concerned folks who want to buy me out. Don’t know what that is about.

  • The first condo I bought I paid 228k in 2009. Several years later, getting married plus selling that and my husband’s condo, we bought a rowhouse for 560k. Wouldn’t have been possible without the large downpayment (he paid next to nothing for his condo in 2001 and it appreciated generously, mine basically broke even between when I bought and sold it).

  • brookland_rez

    3BD rowhouse in Brookland. Picked it up in as a foreclosure in liveable but “fixer upper” condition in the wake of the financial crisis in May 2009 for $239K.

  • 2014. House .4 miles from Fort Totten metro. $500K for 3br, 2.5 bath plus basement apartment, all renovated

  • Colonial Village house purchased in 1998 for 255K, 4br/3ba, originally around 3,000 square feet, now about 3,800 with addition. We’ve done extensive work opening the house up and upgrading materials. Will be selling next year to retire in a warm climate, sad to see it go.

  • binpetworth

    Paid in the high $200s for a 2 BD, 1 BA condo in lower Petworth in 2010. Plan to live here until retirement (20+ years) unless I find a spouse or lose all my money in the gold speculation crisis of 2018, so pretty sure I’ll get a decent ROI.

  • Closing in May $600,000 for 3 bed/3.5 bath renovated in Petworth. Approx 1300 sq ft plus finished bsmt.

  • Emmaleigh504

    slug bug!

  • $320K in 2009 — southern Petworth near the metro — 3 bedroom/2 bath. Didn’t feel like we were getting a deal at the time as the lower price range where we were looking was really competitive even then and we spent months looking and got out competed on several houses. We’ve spent a lot of money fixing it up over the years. Bought it to live in, not as an investment, so mostly hope to break even maybe make a little money when it does come time to sell.

  • Columbia Heights – Lamont and 11th St.
    Bought summer 2010 for 510K at short sale – Spent 110K gutting it.
    3 Floors + English basement – 4br/3.4 bath upstairs and 1br/1ba “now” finished rental English basement unit.

    • Oh, and refinanced a few months ago and was appraised at 1.15 mil. Bank was skeptical, so they hired a different company to appraise it and that one came in at 1.2. πŸ™‚

      Thank god for people squeezing too much equity out of their house and needing to short sale it!

      • justinbc

        Wow, nice! I hate that I missed the short sale / foreclosure market in DC.

        • You and me both!

          • justinbc

            I’m surprised by the number of short sale / foreclosure mentions here, given that the typical belief is that “flippers buy up everything in cash”. It’s nice to see that some “real people” are getting in on the action as well.

          • I thought the flipper problem was fairly recent. Most people seem to have bought here 2009-2011.

          • I agree with NE DC – I think a real inflection point in the market happened around 2012. Prior to that, you could get short sales/foreclosures/really rough fixer uppers in a lot places. Now, it’s all cash/flip/popup/two unit conversion for those properties.

          • brookland_rez

            Flippers have been at work ever since I’ve been here. Flipping was huge in the years prior to the financial crisis. Then when credit dried up, flipping slowed, I guess around 2008. A lot of flippers got hosed when the market turned. I remember going to an open house in Petworth around that time just off GA Ave. This was in May 2008 and I was looking for another place to rent. It was flipper owned and it was some inexperienced lady who didn’t know what she was doing. She had it on the market as a rental and also for sale, desperate to get someone in it. As a potential renter, she wanted an open lease such that I would have to move at any given point if she sold the house. I decided to pass.

          • How does one purchase a foreclosure in DC? I’ve looked at the auction websites but not seeing the property first makes me nervous.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Any realtor can search for bank-owned homes and buy them the old fashioned way, not through an auction. If you would be an owner-occupant and would be making the house your primary residence (for real, they verify), you can also look at Fannie Mae’s inventory on HomePath doesn’t have much inventory in DC, but once in a while something comes up.

          • Flippers don’t have time to deal with short sales. They want to finish a project and use that cash on another deal right away. It is more profitable for them than just wait a year on a short sale.

    • 110K on a gut that? Like completely guy, to include new everything ie; electrical, plumbing, bathrooms, kitchen, hvac?

      • brookland_rez

        It’s doable if you’re doing a lot of the work yourself.

      • Yep, 110K. All new plumbing, electrical, 5/br and 4.5/ba.

        I’m a director of commercial construction for my job, and so have a pretty good idea of what things “should” cost, what the contractors true costs and margins are, how to negotiate pricing and scope and while residential is a little different, it isn’t “that” different. The language and process are exactly the same.

        I realize not everyone is as familiar with construction and the trades, but I am regularly horrified by what I read here that people have spent on improvements to their home.

        • Sounds like you could have a nice side business just advising people on those things.

        • Are you willing to be my GC? pretty please? I’d pay you like 20k for to see the project through…

        • justinbc

          Oh yeah, contractor prices in DC are absurd. Basically take any website that gives you national averages and 2x-4x them.

          • yea no kidding. I’d love to have a list of solid contractors and trades. or something of a ballpark figure for projects in DC.
            I tried to get a split mini heater/AC installed. One outside unit, two inside. NO carpentry work at all, just surface mount the lines and a hole to the exterior is already done. I’ve got an A/E background, called Mitsubishi and got a retail quote (no discounts) at $3100 complete (fittings tubing and a refrigerant tank). The local bid for 1 day of work was $13,000. I did the same thing on a house in MPLS for $5100, 3 years ago.

        • This begs for a guest post. Or perhaps another QOTD: how much did you pay for renovations and how’d you negotiate pricing?

  • Ally

    House — 1600 blk A St SE (Stadium Armory/Hill East) – $559k in June 2009. 1848 SQ Ft. Zestimate at ~$733k (way too high, IMO). Last appraised 4 years ago at around $600k.

    • Ally

      Oh, and it’s a 2-3 BR (they call it a 3 BR, but the 3rd is really more like an office), 2 1/2 bath.

    • Zestimates aren’t always so accurate, but I think you’ve done definitely gone up from 600k in 4 yrs. In my case it’s too low based on comps.

      • Ally

        Thanks! Yeah, I agree that it’s probably shot up a bit, especially with the construction slated to start this year around Stadium Armory metro.

  • $385,000 for a 3/2 rowhouse in southern Petworth. 2007.

  • 2011, Columbia Heights/Petworth (depending on who you talk to), $389k, 1,100 sq feet rowhouse, 3BR/1.5 baths (.5 bath non-functioning)

  • 2BR/2BA single family a block from stadium armory metro in January of 2015 – $553k.

  • 2003: 245K, Sherman Circle neighborhood. House is in need of a massive renovation, which I’m finally financially able to handle. Just beginning the planning process.

  • $452k for a three bedroom rowhouse in 16th St Heights in 2011. Current Zestimate is $617k.

  • Condo – 800 block of 4th Street SW, 621 square feet. Purchased in 2011 for 199, currently valued at 294K per Zillow. Studio with 1 bathroom.

  • $560k 3bd 3 br 1200 sq ft plus finished basement in the H st area, close to Union Market and 3 blocks to NOMA Metro.

  • $420k with 10k back from seller. Bloomingdale in 2009

  • Bloomingdale, 3/2.5 rowhouse, late 2008, sub-$400. Have done some minor updating and landscaping here and there, but we bought it newly renovated so nothing major. A few big projects on a 3-4 year time line that we haven’t started on, the biggest being finishing the basement which will require lowering by a few inches to reach code height. Recent appraisal at $850+

  • Southern edge of Eckington, close to NOMA. 2bd/2.5ba, 1600 sq ft. condo. Bought for 539K in June 2012.

  • Top two floors and roof deck of a brand new rowhouse on the eastern edge of Shaw. 819K (with 2% back at closing), 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2200 interior space, 700 square foot roofdeck. Bought in April 2013.

  • $405,000 for our Mt. Pleasant rowhouse in December 2000. We thought we were buying at the peak of the market. How naive (and lucky) we were!

    • BTW it needed quite a bit of work, even more than we thought at the time. We’ve sunk a lot of money into repairs and renovations since then.

    • Funny, bought in 2000 as well and also was afraid it was the peak. Paid $499,000 for a 4Br, 3.5Ba rowhouse in Adams Morgan with a legal 2Br basement rental. It had sold a year and a half earlier for only $379,000. Wouldn’t have been able to afford it six months later.

  • House Petworth renovated end unit 2 car garage 4BD/3.5 2692 sq ft including finished basement $555k 1% closing assistant in 2011. 2013 appraisal $660k current Zestimate $677,878

  • $370K in Park View in 2009. Tradition Wardman with 2.5 bedroom/1.5 bath in main house and a studio basement that can be rented (no C/O). Recent appraisals for $500 and Zillow says 650. I owe about 290.

  • jburka

    1999: 80k for an Adams Morgan coop on a short sale. 1br/1ba 850 sq ft with patio and a parking space. Sold it just under 3 years later for 160.

    2002: 535k for a 3br/2.5ba 1800 sq ft row house near 14th and U. Was a bit iffy about buying east of 14th at that point, but loved the house with its front/rear yards and the rear alley that would eventually make it possible to put in a parking pad (added in 2012)

  • Townhouse 1 block from Columbia Heights Metro for $380k in 2002. Four bedrooms, 3 full baths, parking, plus an English Basement apartment. Total square feet: 3200.
    Freestanding house in 16th Street Heights this year for $1.1 million. 4700 square feet.

  • First condo – $264k in 2008. Just sold for $314k (Between Dupont and U St)
    second condo – $442k in 2012. Probably would list it for $550k-ish today (11th & P)

    Feel very discouraged at our prosepects for a house in DC if we have to stay here

    • oh, I should add that I used the the ACORN 1st time homebuyer program coupled with the DC program for 1st time home buyers. My out of pocket at closing was very low (I actually put more down than necessary). It was an excellent program and I got a lot back at closing. Sad ACORN imploded and that’s not available anymore

  • $369,900 — current fees $495/mo — purchased April 2010 — 2bed/2bath — 760 sq ft — by Meridian Hill Park
    grateful everyday, so so grateful πŸ™‚

  • $725k – 900 block of 7th NE. 4 BR, 3.5 bath. Basement apt. 1700 sf (sf doesn’t include basement). Parking. House gutted and renovated in 2010. Purchased from a friend in 2013. 2 blocks from future Whole Foods.

  • 550K for a 2bd 2.5bth 1050sqft rowhouse in CH, a block off 11th last August. My first home. I like the house and backyard, but worry a lot on whether that was the right choice. I like 11th street a lot, but I doubt lower Georgia will ever catch up.

  • Takoma, near Walter Reed. Paid $546 for a semi-detached home in 2013. 1,900 sq ft with 3br/3bth. Plus finished basement with bed/bath. Moved from AdMo since we couldn’t afford a normal-ish house down there πŸ™

    • HaileUnlikely

      I’m pretty sure I looked at what was to become your house (not to buy, just out of curiosity, because I had just recently moved to the neighborhood. I live a few blocks north of you, in what just might be the single ugliest house in the neighborhood, on one of the streets whose name is a flower. I love your block!

  • Anonomnom

    Condo – English basement (full sized windows)next door to Woodley Park metro – 840 sq ft, 2 bedroom (1 bedroom den, more realistically) 2 full bath, gutted and redone in 2013, purchased in early 2014 for 400K, 170/month fees. Recently appraised over 450.

    • Anonomnom

      Forgot the 200 sq ft back private patio – That is actually one of the main reasons we got the place. Gotta love the outdoors!

  • 649K Woodley Park 980 sq/ft 2br/2ba condo + garage parking

  • 2 Bedroom corner town house just South of Lincoln Park bout at the end of 1999 for $136,000 but it looks like my Zestimate is $590,382.

  • $189K for 4 bed 2.5 bath rowhouse with separate legal unit in basement on 600 block of Irving St (Park View) in 2001. I was 24 years old at the time. Had no idea I was setting myself up for life…

  • jim_ed

    $340K for a rowhouse in northern Petworth a few blocks south of Kennedy in 2012, given a mild renovation (and AC) in 2006. We’d probably ask 500 if we were to sell today, but we won’t because I plan on leaving feet first.

  • $535K with $20K back for 3 br/3 ba duplex at 4th and Florida NW in July 2012. Renovated 2004-05. Second-floor patio and roofdeck. Current Zestimate is $700K, for what it’s worth.

  • Under 400k for upper Petworth 4-unit apartment building in 2011. Corner lot. Just barely not a gut job. The basement was flooded and locked, preventing entry until we had basically already agreed on a price. Put 20% down and then immediately put twice that amount into the building.

    The sign of a good deal is that neither seller nor buyer walks away happy. This was a fine deal.

  • Bought a 3bd/2ba 1150 sq house (almost 1700 with finished basement) Columbia Heights for $295k, put about $60-70k of renos in. It is now completely renovated.

  • janie4

    House 3-4 blocks from Petworth metro – 3 bedroom, 1 bath. Paid $355k in 2008, and worth$452k according to the city, and $413k according to Zillow.

  • $325k for 700 sq ft 1 bd/1 ba on Logan Circle in 2005. Condo fees have dropped $25 to $225 since!

  • epric002

    southwest petworth/north columbia heights, 2012, wardman style w/3 beds 2 ba, garage + small backyard, updated but not gutted/flipped, ~2500sqft (including finished basement), 7min walk to ga ave metro: $520. current zestimate $689.

  • 650k, Petworth, 4 bd / 3.5 bath; bought in 2013; I estimate we could get at least $750 if we sold tomorrow, but we wont, bc we like it here.

  • Is this thread supposed to make all of us late-comers feel sad that we didn’t buy earlier? In 2013 paid $375k for my tiny but updated 1 br/1ba, plus porch but no parking, on the south end of Shaw/north end of MVsquare.

  • 1 BR condo on corner of 14 and Columbia for $310k, August 2014

  • Noobs! πŸ˜‰

    Petworth Rowhouse – 700 block of Gallatin St NW – 3BR, 1.5 BA – Renovated – $355,000 in 2004.

  • Row house on Independence SE (Hill East/Stadium-Armory), approx. $650K in December 2014. It was recently renovated/move-in ready, and we also got a lot of closing-cost assistance from the sellers, so the contract price is a little deceiving. 2 bed/1.5 bath with great backyard and parking.

  • 2 BR, 2.5 bath 1,440 sq ft condo in Shaw–purchased for around $750K in 2013. Just appraised for $860K.

  • I bought what was originally a 4 unit building, but had been illegally converted to a 2 unit building (which is a headache discussed in a recent thread). I got a 203k loan and converted it back to four units. I bought the place for $315k, received $15k in closing costs from the seller, and spent $135k on the renovation. There is a similar one on my block that went under contract after three days on the market for $550k not renovated. All my apartments have two bedrooms, one bathroom, and have all the upgrades of stainless steel, granite, hardwood floors, washer/dryer, dishwasher, etc. I closed August of 2013.

    • You may have the best long term investment. You got in at a great deal, and will have rental income for ever. Congrats- you are set for life!!!

    • What neighborhood?

    • Oops I forgot to put that im in Trinidad. I made all the apartments Deaf friendly since I am a sign language interpreter and the place is close to Gallaudet. Strobe light doorbells, as well as strobe light Fire alarms. And to anon- now that the dust has settled and the renovation is over, I think you’re right!

      • I thought of buying a multi-unit most likely in NE. Have you found managing it to be easy? I assume you don’t have a PM. Do you live in one and rent out 3? How hard was it getting the 203k process completed? Tips and tricks are appreciated.

    • Here are some pics of the place if anyone wants to see

      • Anonomnom

        I absolutely LOVE that lighting fixture you put in. So unique!

        • Thanks!! I have to admit, it’s one of my favorite things in the place. Got it on amazon!! my other favorite thing is that my house numbers on the front of the house are backlit so they really stand out at night. Makes it easy for my friends to find the place when they are coming over!

      • I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have a problem filling those units- but why NO pets? It opens you up to such a broader pool of renters who otherwise wouldn’t even consider Trinidad.

        • Unless the landlord IS having problems filling the units, I can understand her desire to have a “no pets” policy. Sure, many pets don’t cause problems… but it’s just easier from a landlord’s perspective not to risk the possibility.

        • After learning how much it cost to refinish the hardwood floors, and other prices of things that were put in, I felt it wouldn’t be worth it. While I understand I am limiting my market, there are still plenty of people who would like to live in Trinidad, and it’s a really nice apartment for a price you couldn’t find in most other places in the city. I’m just afraid if there was pet damage, the cost would be more than the deposit and I would be chasing people down to pay for damages.

  • house on 13th b/w Spring & Upshur
    4 br, 3.5 ba, garage
    $590K, fully redone roof to basement

  • 1 bedroom, 1000 sq ft. basement condo with parking space, Kennedy St. NW near North Capitol. $170,000 in November 2012. The condo has appreciated a little, and the parking space (10k of the 170) has appreciated a lot.

  • $845K for a 4bd/3.5 bath, about 2600sq feet including finished basement, newly renovated, with two story garage in Bloomingdale.

  • 1 bed /1 bath, 740 sq ft. condo in SW near waterfront bought in 2010 for $189K. Current Zestimate is around $270K.

  • NE Eckington 2BR 1BA Condo $295K $175 Condo fee (includes parking space)

  • Coop – New Hampshire Ave (U street area) – 780 sq ft – purchased May 2011 for $310k.

  • 2 Bed + Den / 2.5 Br + roofdeck + parking for top 2 floors of a converted row house in Bloomingdale. About 1500 sq ft + another 300 on the roofdeck. $675k in March 2014.

  • $775k for a 3 bedroom rowhouse near Eastern Market (near, as in you can see the weekend tents set up when you look through the back windows). Zillow says it’s worth around $900k now (we bought 4 years ago). A lot of people dislike the layout, which is not open at all, but it has nice finishes and you can’t beat the location.

  • Eckington, Victorian townhouse, 4BR, 2.5 bath, $485,000.

    Adams Morgan, 900 sq foot condo, 2 BR, 1.5 bath, $360,000.

  • U Street area condo, 2013 purchase, $400k, 1 bedroom (600 sq ft), $350 condo fee, nice building. Probably overpaid.

  • $370K for a 770 sq ft 1/1 with parking in Mt. Pleasant in 2010. Condo fees are $300. I put 20% down.

    I’m content where I am and think I made the right purchase at the time for my budget. There was a lot of crap out there in 2010 when I was looking and I don’t have the knowledge or patience to do extensive renovations.

    Lately I’ve been thinking that I’d like to get a place with a second bedroom or den I could use as an office and private outside space. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford a house that is close in and convenient, so I presume I’ll be looking for another condo. I probably need to save up more cash that I can use in addition to home equity for a down payment, but seeing how quickly home prices are going up, I sometimes wonder if I’ll be content in my 1/1 in MtP until I move into an assisted living center.

  • 4 BR, 3.5 Bath fully renovated house in Trinidad. Bought in Nov. 2012 for $450K.

  • $425K, upper Petworth row house in 2013. 3bd, 1.5 ba, mostly unrenovated.

  • Southwest Waterfront, 2 bedroom 2 bath three level townhouse condo (1900 sf), condo fee is $450 a month. Bought in 2011 for $417K.

  • House, 3 bd, 1.25 ba, 1200 sqft w/ partially finished basement in 4th St. in Brightwood Park for $410k in 2014. House needs renovating, but not a gut job and is very livable.

  • Condo purchased in 2015 – $285K sale price with $13k of work to my 550 sqft 1br/ba. Balcony and parking space. Southern Columbia Heights near 14th and U. It was appraised for $310k before the work I put in (floors/washer dryer installation). Probably not something I will hold on to for that long, so I hope I don’t loose my shirt if I have to sell in two years or so.

  • Bought a little row house in historic Capitol Hill for $499 in Dec 09. 2 br 1.5 bath (about 1200sq) with a nice sized back yard.

  • 2013 Adams Morgan, 1br/1ba condo 698 sq ft $350k. Condo fee $373.

  • Capitol Hill (7th and F NE)–$640K (2.5 bed/1.5 bath) row house in 2011.

  • this is fun, but definitely jealous of a few of these.

    bought 5 months ago, 560k, ~1000 sqft rowhouse + finished basement, 3bd (or 2 bd, one office), 2 full 2 half bath, small back yard and 2 parking spots, 1/2 mile from brookland metro. Renovated in 2012, needed paint refresh and new basement floor. Current Z-estimate 526k πŸ™‚ thanks Zillow!

  • houseintherear

    $269k + $50k in work, Bloomingdale 2006. 2br/2ba, 1100 sqft, 1000 sq ft yard. Best thing that has ever happened to me so far in my life!

  • $435k, late 2012, Lanier Heights. 2 bed/2 bath, ~1200 sqft, ~$600 coop fee. And woah, zestimate is up to $600k now… seems way high…

  • 1BR/1BA condo, about 580 ft^2, near Petworth metro in 2013 for $315k. The whole building was a rehab.
    It appraised this week almost 5% higher in the year and a half I’ve had it, which I find both exciting and horrifying.
    I don’t plan on leaving my condo feet first, but I do plan to hang on to it as a rental/investment.

  • $482,000 in 2006. flipped rowhouse in Park View. Immediately plummeted to $150K below that but now it’s back up +.

  • 2013, New build equidistant CH/Petworth metro stops, 2 bed+ den/2.5 bath, 1600 SF + parking = $700k
    Before that, I had a 980 SF condo by Eastern Market – 2 bed, 1.5 bath (no parking), needed updates. Bought in 2008 for $418k, sold in 2012 for $425k

  • 3 Br, 1 bath condo in Eckington. Bought in 2009 for $300,000. Condo fee is $340.

  • $308K, 550sf 1BR 1 Bath – Capitol Hill row house. Fee simple, no HOA. Two story end unit with a partial basement, good for utilities or storage, small back patio. Super close to metro. The bathroom is really the only space with walls. Electric, plumbing, windows updated in the 80’s or 90’s. Needs cosmetic updating, but it’s currently a solid 1990’s vibe.

  • $1,040,000 in 2013 for a 4 bedroom 3.5 bath rowhouse with parking (of which 1 bed 1 bath is a separately metered basement unit) on Capitol Hill – 3 blocks from the Capitol. We put in another $100K in renovations and to get CofO. Should be about $1.2 million right now.

  • $225,000 12 years ago in Park View…scary back then; house now valued at close to $600K

  • Too late to make a difference in this thread, but what I’d really like to see is people’s monthly costs. Especially in the last 3-4 years when prices were soft but rents were skyrocketing, I think people got exceptionally good deals by buying. (Maybe a good question for a future thread; especially would be interested to see monthly costs of some people who have basement rentals.)

    I pay around $1,700 a month in PITI + condo fees for a 800 sq-ft 1-br duplex in Logan Circle that I bought in 2013. ~$600 a month is principal payments, so my net housing costs are really about $1,100 a month. When I was apartment hunting back in 2012 and 2013, an identical unit in my building was renting for $2250. I think a lot of people who don’t buy haven’t sat down and figured out, holistically, how the math of rent vs. buy works.

    • I have about just over 1mil in mortgages between two properties. Payments total for both are $5500 including taxes and insurance. Both are 2-unit properties and I collect $4900 in rental income, leaving me responsible for about $600(which I occupy 2000sqft 3b/2.5bth).

    • I agree this is an interesting topic. But just note that to buy a place with a basement rental takes a lot of up-front cheddar at this point. A lot of people would struggle to save up enough for that down payment, and the supply of such places close-in seems pretty low. Obviously, if you can swing it, it’s a fabulous way to offset mortgage payments. I don’t think anyone will fight you on that point.
      Anyway, it is not always a clear calculus on rent vs buy: I now pay about $400 more per month for my housing, utilities, cable/internet than I did before I bought my 1 br condo two years ago (previously lived in a 1 br rental). I live in a close, but slightly less desirable neighborhood than before, but my place is nicer than the rental and has some outdoor space. I don’t feel like I got a particularly good deal on my condo by any means, and I didn’t have much to put down so the monthly payments aren’t super low, but I love living there. And once I factor in mortgage interest deductions and the equity I am building, I think it made financial sense. Not as clear of a case as the one you outline, though, because I am still paying quite a bit more per month out of pocket than I was with the rental. I would guess that if my place were in the rental market, it would go for about the same price as my current monthly costs, maybe slightly under.

  • 2 bed/2ba condo in Bloomingdale 2009 $315k. Sold in 2014 for $490k which was awesome. Bought 4 bed/3.5 ba duplex in Brookland “Heights” for $680k last spring which was definitely not a good deal but we loved the house more than any other house we looked at so we caved to the developer. It appraised for just over that. Still happy a year later and a much higher tax assessment. Oof.

  • I bought a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath end unit row house in Eckington for $300k in 2011. The place looked horrible but it was all cosmetic work. The basement was partially finished, and the kitchen is ugly but it works. Getting ready to upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms and make the basement habitable.

  • $353k for an 1100 sq ft row house in Brentwood in 2014.

  • Semi-detached 3/1.5, Brightwood, 2012, $380K, semi-remodeled, finished basement, new appliances, central AC/heat

  • Kingman Park
    Short Sale
    $210,000 in 2011. 3 BR w/ “finished basement” hah
    Add 70K reno
    Updated Kitchen – opened 1st floor up
    Refinished hardwoods
    Updated Bathroom
    Updated Basement – in-law suite
    Worth minimum $450K now.

  • row house, Eckington, with basement apt, $375k in 2011

  • $240K for a 2/1 850 Sq Ft condo in Trinidad with a condo fee of $250. Bought Nov 2014

  • I bought my one bedroom, 750 sq. ft. Condo. in the Iowa, at 13th and 0 St. NW, over looking Logan Circle in 1999 for 91k. My condo. fee was $195. I did some minor upgrades and sold it as is, with no inspection in Sept. 2013 for 460k.

  • Brightwood park, 2014, 4bd/3.5ba, 640k. Reno’d and basement is a proper 1bd, 1ba rental. Come onnnnn Kennedy Street!

  • 2400 sq foot renovated row house in North Petworth. Purchased in 2008 for $399K.

  • Accountering

    Row House, Brightwood Park, just north of Petworth. Bought for $255k in October 2010. I have put $175k into it, and it is now worth ~550k.

  • Brookland bungalow for $300K in 2008. Put about $100K into it, worth >$600K now.

  • $379,000 in 2013. Adams Morgan neighborhood. 1 bedroom, 1 bath. Newish building with high end everything and with patio space. 670 square feet. Smaller units in building on higher floors just sold for $420,000 late last year. Condo fee is $280 month.

  • $609K for a 3 BR/3 BA townhouse (2100 sf) with a 1 BR/1 BA English Basement (800 sf) in Mount Vernon Square in 2005. Probably spent and additional $20k on parking pad, rear decks, and new HVAC systems. The thing I like best about the house is that it’s not an open floor plan and most of the original details were retained. Comps in the neighborhood are running about $900K, but they’ll have to carry me out of there.

  • In December 2010, bought a house less than a block from the Georgia Ave. Metro for $580K. It was listed as 7 bedrooms (!!) and 3 full baths, but in reality those 7 bedrooms were actually four bedrooms, 2 offices/dens, and 1 rec room. The house had been renovated, but not by a flipper. Some of the renovation (kitchen, bathrooms, deck) appeared to have been DIY — more successfully for the bathrooms, less successfully for the kitchen and deck.

  • Smallish 1 br 1 ba, Dupont, 4 blocks NE from circle, private roofdeck space, $389k 8/2013

  • 5BR, 4BA renovated rowhouse in (then dicey) Bloomingdale, 2003. $349,000

    Only smart investment I’ve ever made.

  • Condo – 300 blk of M St NW – 600sqft 1Bd/1Bth – purchased Dec 2009 for $197k
    Similar unit sold for $295k this year

  • 2 bedroom 1.5 bath in River Terrace (east of the river), end row house with big corner lot. 850 square feet, not including fully finished basement and sun porch. $210K in late 2013, only thing we had to do was paint.

  • Small (around 550 square feet) 1-bedroom, 1-bath condo in Adams Morgan, bought in 2002 for $160K.

  • 12 and U – 3 story condo, deck, 2400 square feet – 1.15 in 2010 – worth about 1.55 today. 58 seconds to Metro, Lincoln Theater, Ulah and Solly’s.

  • $1.4m, new construction in Shaw. 4 bed, 4 1/2 bath, 1 car parking. 2015.

  • nightborn

    2 br 2 bath approx 1000 sq foot condo with garage parking, somewhat renovated (with fugly finishes), border of Dupont and Logan neighborhoods, 575K, purchased mid-2014.

  • Bought a 1 BR 1 BA condo at northern edge of Columbia Heights for $195k in 2010. Put about $20k into it, sold for $299k in 2014. Used profit to purchase a 4 BR house on a huge lot in Riverdale for $304k.

  • 2014 — 1941 3 bedroom renovated brick house with a big yard in Lamond-Riggs — 560K

  • goaldigger

    450 sq ft efficiency apartment in Adams Morgan coop. Bought in 1997 for $29,900 (10 yr mortgage, bldg mortgage is paid off). Current coop fee $337. Needs kitchen and bath update (have only painted main room and replaced fridge and stove).

  • 305K, 2.5br, 2.5ba, 1100 sq ft, townhouse, Anacostia, 2008

  • 3 bed 1 bath rowhome in Brookland for $450k in Dec 2013. Current Zestimate is 510k.

    • what area of Brookland? just curious because i’m technically in Brookland, but really Edgewood)

      • I am on the eastern side of the metro tracks about 5 blocks south of the metro. Brookland proper I guess…

  • 735,000 for a 6bed/3.5bath townhouse in Mt P (on the Columbia Heights side–10 min walk to metro) in summer 2009. It definitely needed some love because the owners from the previous 10 years hadn’t maintained it (roofwork, repointing, etc) though it was fortunately in livable condition. 2 of the bedrooms & 1 of the bathrooms are in a legal basement rental unit.

  • 780K for a 4 bdrm 3.5 bath (basement rental) new renovation in northern columbia heights, 2015.

  • Condo in Dupont in 1998 for $119, sold in 2011 for $360.

    Rowhouse in Petworth near Grant Circle in 2011 for $419; 3 bedroom/2 bath; partial renovation in 2003, meaning central A/C was added, kitchen updated and wall opened up between kitchen and dining room, baths updated, basement finished. Still has radiators and original layout. Plan to spend about $100K in renovations over time, including patio/deck and landscaping.

  • Condo conversion (former apartment building split into 2 rowhouses) off 13th and Constitution NE, 2 bed/2.5 bath, 1300 sq ft + 450 sq ft private roof deck, $610K in November 2014.

  • 400 Mass
    377k in 2010
    $475/month condo fee
    875 sq ft

  • I bought a 1 bed/1 bath 775 sq ft coop in the Lanier Heights section of Adams Morgan in 2012 for $283,500. My mortgage plus coop fee is $1,600. Back then it was a rental market and we didn’t have to rush to decide whether or not to make an offer. Smaller units (650 sq ft) in the building are now seling for almost the same price we paid back in 2012.

    Before purchasing, I was paying $1750 to rent a 1 bedroom near Politics and Prose on CT Ave so it’s been a good move to pay less per month and be much closer to amenities.

  • This thread is utterly depressing. Had to stop reading after the first 100 responses.
    Real estate really is just a game of musical chairs.

    • Home buying might be analogous to musical chairs, I could agree with that. But what’s renting at astronomical prices analogous to?

    • In 2009, I bought making roughly 45k. I pinched pennies to get my small down payment of 6k…all my own money for the FHA. Obviously it will take more to buy in most parts of DC now, but it can be done. I planned for many years to make sure my credit was on point and such. My realtor was awesome too. My only mistake was not getting a roommate immediately, but I enjoyed living alone for 3 yrs.
      Some people really cannot afford to buy, but plenty of others could buy if they pinched pennies and kept an open mind.

  • Bought a coop unit in Park View in 2013, paid $163k for a 900 sf coop unit, 2 bd 2 ba. Seller paid closing costs. Overall am very happy living there, very happy with the deal. Don’t let your agents talk you out of looking at coops.

  • 1 BR/1 BA approx. 550 sq ft condo in Adams Morgan bought in 1996, $83,500. Now probably could list for $380,000.

  • 250k in 2010 3 bed 2.5 bath in ledroit park… Im pretty happy =)

  • Does not a single person on PoPville live in Virginia?!

  • For all those with envy of those who bought in the 90s and have made a fortune, don’t forget that a lot of neighborhoods that are beautiful today were the pits back then. Logan immediately comes to mind, and Mt. Pleasant was still reeling from the riots in the early 90s (was it 91?). These folks put up with a lot of crime and decay to get realize the equity they have today. But it’s also hard to imagine how affordable even the nice areas were 20 years ago. I remember nice family homes in Upper NW and even Bethesda/Chevy Chase selling in the low to mid $300K range, even into the late 90s. When my grandparents died in 2002, we sold their colonial house (needed a lot of work) in Great Falls and nearly fell off our chairs when it sold for $525K…I don’t even want to know what it would sell for today.

  • Detached house, Shepherd Park, approx. 1,800 square feet, 3 bed/2.5 bath, $575k in autumn 2011. House was purchased without kitchen. Put in about $100k in renovations over the last three years (including the much needed kitchen).

  • Rowhouse – 1,000 s.f. – Purchased (REO) for $99k in 2011 – Z Estimate is $412K – Got a really great deal on this property…incredibly lucky!

    • I did not realize the other details people added – 2 blocks from H Street and “coming” DC Streetcar. Used NACA process so there was no money down and it only needed $10k of work (new HVAC, deck refurbishment and new lighting)…mostly cosmetic.

  • While it looks like many of you purchased your homes quite some time ago does one have any recommendations for an agent with sigificant knowledge of the current lower end the DC market, <350k, short sales, bank owned properties, less popular neighborhoods etc. I have been looking for a while now and have become a bit frustrated.

    • K…I actually found my home myself…I scoured all of the sites and looked for REO prop’s online. My realtor didn’t even have this on his lest…not sure if it was ever on the MLS. I’ve heard great things about RedFin though.

    • K…I actually found my home myself…I scoured all of the sites and looked for REO prop’s online. My realtor didn’t even have this on his list…not sure if it was ever on the MLS. I’ve heard great things about RedFin though.

    • I don’t have a specific agent recommendation but if that’s your price point for a house (not condo) you’re going to want to look in far NE around Fort Totten (Riggs Park, Michigan Park, North Michigan Park). You can get unrenovated houses with parking and yards for around $350k. Once something is on the market around that price though, act fast. Developers buy them usually within 7-10 days.

      • I should clarify: these types of houses usually sell within 7-10 days and I HOPE they are selling to developers because we bought in this area last year. I don’t actually know that they’re developers.

  • Paid $324k for a poorly flipped 3.5 floor rowhouse in Ledroit Park in 2002. Overpaid at the time, frankly, but was new to the real estate game and really loved the fact that it had a roof deck, which are relatively rare in the area. All told we’ve probably spent another $400k renovating, including a complete renovation that included bumping up the attic ceiling to add a bedroom and building a bath on the top floor to create a master suite. I’d guess it’s worth somewhere around $1M today. All told, not a superb investment – if I’d put that $324 in the stock market I’d have made around 250% – but then again I haven’t been paying rent for almost 15 years and when we sell we’ll get a lot of that renovation money back.

  • $280,000 for a 4 bedroom/2bath rowhouse in middle Petworth in 2010.

  • Bought a rowhouse last year, August 2014. 399k, in Brookland (but really Edgewood)
    Corner of 4th St and Franklin NE
    3 BR 2 Bath in livable condition but with much needed work

  • Closed this month on a small (825 sf) 2-bed 2-bath condo in a Columbia Heights townhouse. No parking, but wonderful outdoor space and a 100 sf storage unit. $550K. Payments (mortgage, taxes, condo fee) total ~$2,800.

    Home ownership is terrifying, but renting is worse. I’m proud of my purchase and realize it’s a fine deal (was renting a 1-bed for $2,150/mo before buying and could not even contemplate the costs of renting a 2-bed place), but I worry that I’m in the middle of a bubble and should have sucked it up to buy further away. That said, my commute and social life are a dream from where I am.

    Any other new owners out there who want to share?

    • I bought in Columbia Heights/Park View last August and worry all the time that we’re in the middle or towards the end of a bubble. But what can you do. I bought because it was the first time in my life I was in a position to buy. Wish I could have bought a few years back, but was in no position to buy so what can you do?

  • 4 bed 2 1/2 bath rowhouse in Park View with driveway, foreclosure stripped bare for $240K.

    • Purchased in 2009

      • DANGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! Steal, how much have you had to put into it? We purchased a 3 bedroom 2 bath rowhouse in Park View in Sept 2014 for $485k. It needs a lot of work, but overall I am happy that we can make the house our own and it’s big enough that we could stay in it forever. We also have a huge backyard (for a rowhouse) which I love.

  • Rowhouse on 9th around the corner from the metro for $300k but bought it way back and from my parents so it was a steal.

  • Adams Morgan, 425 square foot studio co-op, bought in 2002 for $58,000.

    Building’s underlying mortgage is paid off. Current co-op fee (includes water, heating of water, cooking gas, and ALL PROPERTY TAXES) is about $350/month.

    Such a deal!

  • I paid 125k for a 2 bedroom 2.5 bath roughly 1200 sq ft townhouse that had been recently remodeled in Anacostia. I purchased in 2010.

  • $280,000 in 2014 for a 3br, 2ba detached single family with parking and a big yard. How is this possible? I went EOTR — Fairlawn. My neighbors are lovely and have been really welcoming, my commute is a piece of cake, and my house appraised for $25,000 more than I paid.

  • 1 bedroom co-op in Adams Morgan – 780 sq feet – purchased in July 1993 for $85,000.

  • Renovated 3br/2ba 1600 sq. foot house with BIG backyard in Brookland for $359k in 2003. Worth double that now.

  • 3 bdrm, 1.5 bath, ~1100 sq ft, +bsmt (we finished it), +attic, single family house, big backyard, South Manor Park neighborhood, .6 miles to Ft. Totten metro. Bought for $325k in 2004.

  • $525k sale price (paid a bit less after seller’s fees) for 2000 sq/ft 5 br 2 1/2 bath craftsman near 20th & Monroe NE in 2013. The people we bought from paid $390k in 2009. We’ve probably put $25k in for new air systems and general fix-up.

    The house next door was fully renovated recently from the worst house on the block and sold a month ago for $850k after being flipped (bought for $350k in abysmal state).

  • 1987 – bought a 3 bdrm 2 ba. condo at 1421 Columbia Rd. NW for $57,000. Fairly dodgy neighborhood but close to desirable neighborhoods. Lived with 2 roomates for 10+ years. Long long story, but basically the building was so desperately mis-managed, I wound up buying 4 more condos at tax sale & foreclosure. (With credit card advances – which were easy back then – and adroit shifting meant no interest payments)

    Finally sold 4 of the 5 condos and bought a house near 14th & Irving in 2006 – built a basement apt. and 3rd floor apt. Now live essentially off of rent.

    So where is similar opportunity today? Ancostia.

  • ChenChen

    1 bdrm condo at Georgia and Decatur on 1st floor for 287k in 2014

  • I purchased in 2000 for 125,000.00
    at 5th and L Northeast,between H stree and Union Market. 2 bedroom,2.5 bath. When I purchased people were afraid to purchase anything past H Street. It was a great reno with all the bells and whistles.

  • Fully renovated 3br, 2 baths row house in Shaw purchased in 2010 for $450K. Current zestimate $800K!

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