86°Partly Cloudy

GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc

by Prince Of Petworth February 26, 2010 at 11:00 am 15 Comments


In real life, hipchickindc is licensed as a real estate broker in the District of Columbia, and as a real estate salesperson in Maryland. 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 Properties: 4714 15th St NW

Original List Price: $629,000.

List Price at Contract: $629,000.

List Date: 10/20/2009

Days on Market: 25

Settled Sales Price
: $629,000.

Settlement Date: 12/29/2009

Seller Subsidy: $15,375.

Bank Owned?: No

Type Of Financing: Hmmm. Type of First Trust Loan says “Other”.

Original GDoN Post is: here.

Recent Listings are
: here.

While a few posters came to the house’s defense, the general consensus of PoP commenters on the original Good Deal or Not (GDoN) post was thumbs down on the recent renovation. More than one person suggested that the property would sit on the market and sell for substantially less than list price. Having toured the property during its pre-renovation state, my only objections to the post-rehab photos are that a) I’m not a fan of photos with mops and cleaning supplies showing up in photos to be used for marketing and b) I have an aversion to modern gas fireplaces situated in corners. Someone apparently found the work to be acceptable enough to ratify a contract less than a month after it hit the market and paid a net to list price (sales price less subsidy=net divided by list price) of over 95%.

As was mentioned in the GDoN comments, 15th Street is a pleasant tucked away residential street within easy proximity to the major thoroughfares of both 14th and 16th Streets. Those who place great value upon Metro access may not like the location, however, being close to Rock Creek Park is a huge perk for others. The house was recently sold as a foreclosure in June 2009. Continues after the jump.

Tax records indicate that the property was purchased in 2001 for $163,900. less a $4900. subsidy from the Seller. At the time of that transfer, it is noted that the home had been a rental property. It is mentioned in that listing that “Rear enclosed porch structure has pulled away from house”. Unfortunately, the then-new-owners borrowed upon the equity in the property and ran into some difficulties. Wachovia took possession of the house on New Year’s Eve 2008 for $403,000.

Following foreclosure, the house was first listed in February of 2009 for $389,000. During the 49 days that the first listing agent represented the asset, the price was ultimately lowered to $338,900. Normally, this price would be considered an excellent deal in this location. I understand, though, why it may have scared more than a few brave would-be renovators. I recall touring the property with an architect client and that we both spent the entire visit with dropped jaws and looking for duct work. The listing from that time period clearly states that the property has “no heat”. That, in and of itself, is not at all unusual for many of the properties I sell to clients who rehab them. What was unusual was that someone had put in all new dry wall and done finishing work, but had not thought to address the question of heat source prior to closing up the walls. Bottom line…it all needed to be ripped out. Despite looking superficially like someone had done a lot of work, in reality, the property was a shell. Another agent took over the listing, priced it at $285,000. and it was under contract in three days, to ultimately sell at that list price to a cash buyer.

  • jcm

    So person #1 paid $163K, borrowed $240K, and were unable to make the house habitable? Yikes.

  • Anonymous

    Yet another example of PoP commenters being way, way off. The “I can’t afford it, so it’s a bad deal” crowd and the “I paid far too much for my house during the boom, so I’m going to say everything is a bad deal” crowd comprise at least 50 percent of the commenters on these posts, I’d say.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      And yet another example of a commenter complaining about commenters. These are my favorite comments.

      Seriously why don’t you just leave your opinion instead of criticizing others? I’ll never understand that.

      • dreas

        “Seriously why don’t you just leave your opinion instead of criticizing others? I’ll never understand that.”

        Seriously? You pick THIS commenter as an example when you have probably HUNDREDS of more personal, offensive, and egregious comments every week?

        I’m beginning to think some of your critics are right and that you generate controversy on purpose to increase your page views and thus your advertising income.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          Come to my event tonight and I’ll explain to you why I chose the above comment in particular.

          For the record my advertising revenue is not based on page views.

          • dreas

            I can’t – stuck the husband with the baby on his own last Friday night – but if you say you have an explanation, I’ll take your word. It just seemed like an oddly innocuous comment to pick of of the crowd of nasty comments on commenters. (And I agreed with his point, as well.)

    • Just because someone paid close to list price on it, doesn’t mean it was a good deal. It just might mean that someone was dumb enough to overpay for this property because they a)have more money than brains, which is astoundingly common in this town, or b)just didn’t know any better.

      • Eric in Ledroiit

        The real estate market is defined by what people will pay for something.

        • True. But look around. Not everybody is overpaying for this sort of house.

          • This house sold one block down 15th St NW in September 2009 for $640,000. net. The subject property sold around $599,000. net. (To see the interior pics, you have to click on the property address, then click on the film strip icon at the top when the full listing comes up.) I admit that I prefer this renovation, however, it is a good example of how good photos, paint, and decent staging go a long, long way in terms of presentation.

  • ***Correction-I often write these late at night, so I always re-read as soon as I can after they post. The actual SALE price was $615,000. The subsidy and other information should be accurate. The list/sale ratio is still correct (was based on $615,000 – $15,375./$629,000.)

    Re: the amount the bank bought the property back for, it may have included late penalties and very high interest payments (so ma have been higher than was actually borrowed).

  • JW

    Hey Hipchick-

    I would love for you to do one of these for 6 Grant Circle. I thought it was way overpriced for how much work needed to be done but it went for over list!

  • HolmeadHomey


    Know anything about the Crest DC Apartment complex on 13th St. in Columbia Heights (http://thecrestdc.com)? I’ve always thought that would be a great redevelopment project someday. What’s the scoop?

  • Anonymous


    market defined by what people will pay, good deal not.

    many people paid for bad deals so recently, how is this not obvious?

    nudity Mississippi, captcha

  • JW, I will look into 6 Grant for a later GDoN-R.

    HolmeadHomey, My company represents sales for The Crest. Here is our new project page with The Crest at the top. I can share more info once it is further along.

    We have several great projects coming online soon. I am planning to do a post on 444 M St NW soon (I did the acquisition for the developer and it is already half pre-sold), and also on the church on Mass Ave SE at 13th (which I also did the acquisition of).


Subscribe to our mailing list