Sold After 16 Days – “the first piece of dirt we’ve looked at for Good Deal or Not Revisited”


Hipchickindc (aka Suzanne Des Marais) is a licensed real estate broker. She is an associate broker with Bediz Group, LLC at Keller Williams Capital Properties . 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 and/or Real Estate Business Intelligence (RBI), a subsidiary of MRIS. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property
: 606 Butternut St NW

Legal Subdivision: Brightwood
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Brightwood
This is a piece of Land for Sale Zoning Type: R-1-B
Lot Square Footage: 5750

Original List Price
: $265,000.

List Price at Contract: $265,000.
List Date: 11/17/2015
Days on Market: 16
Settled Sales Price: $270,000.
Seller Subsidy: $0.
Settlement Date: 02/12/2016
Transaction type: Standard

Original GDoN post is: here.

The original listing can be seen here: here.

I believe this is the first piece of dirt we’ve looked at for Good Deal or Not Revisited. Unimproved land is a challenge to price because the value is basically in what you can ultimately do with it. That makes the zoning code extremely important.

In this case, the lot is zoned R-1-B. To find out what that means, you can go to the very handy DC Zoning website and look up that particular code.

Land is generally going to transact to developers, in part because it is a huge challenge for owner occupants to get financing for unimproved ground. This is because there is a ginormous amount of risk for a lender, given all the unknowns regarding how the land can legally be used, architectural plans, obtaining permits, dealing with ANC and other neighborhood approvals, identifying a reliable General Contractor and sub contractors, etc. And this listing mentions being in a historic district, which adds another layer.

The listing agent for this sale was Carrie Brown with Tristar Realty Inc. Moises Reyes with Marathon Real Estate represented the buyer in this transaction.

8 Comment

  • I hope they can retain the elaborate landscaping.

  • It is a bit depressing, but they paid more for dirt (by a lot) than I paid for my house in 1999.

  • Or perhaps you could tell us what R-1-B means? that link takes you to a map.

  • HaileUnlikely

    R-1-B “Permits matter-of-right development of single-family residential uses for detached dwellings with a minimum lot width of 50 feet for residential, churches, and public recreation and community centers and 120 feet for schools, a minimum lot area of 5,000 square feet for residential, churches, and public recreation and community centers and 15,000 square feet for schools, a maximum lot occupancy of 60% for a church or public school use, 20% for public recreation and community centers, and 40% for all other structures; and a maximum height of three (3) stories/forty (40) feet (60 feet for churches and schools and 45 feet for public recreation and community centers). Rear yard requirements are twenty-five (25) feet, side yard requirements are eight (8) feet.”

  • This is actually in Takoma, not Brightwood (Brightwood may be listed as the legal subdivision, but it’s not the neighborhood). The Brightwood neighborhood is actually to the south of here. I am not surprised this sold so quickly. I also think it is likely to become a $1 million + home, because housing prices have been creeping up that high in the neighborhood as of late. So the potential for a big profit is huge for the right design. It has a great location.

  • Speaking of bits of dirt, does anyone know anything about this interior lot in Pleasant Plains:

    Seems like it could be built as a small but interesting carriage house, but the lot has been on the market forever. I was wondering if there were zoning issues or neighbor opposition.

    • My understanding is that many alley lots often have an access problem under the zoning rules. Anything where the alleys are less than 30 feet wide is generally considered unbuildable because they lack emergency vehicle access.

      • houseintherear

        There are many carriage house streets with regular street-sized alley access in DC. As far as emergency services are concerned, our carriage house street gets a walk/drive through by some very hot firemen about once per quarter. They have checklists of some kind and have knocked on doors now and then to ask who has sprinklers and other info. So perhaps there used to be a rule about alley size that has changed…? Anyway I’d guess this property is just too scary for the kinds of people who buy around here nowadays… seems like no one wants to do the dirty work anymore!

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