GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 103 8th St NE

by Prince Of Petworth May 13, 2011 at 11:00 am 28 Comments

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: 103 8th St NE
Legal Subdivision: Capitol Hill
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Capitol Hill
Original List Price: $489,500.
List Price at Contract: $489,500.
List Date: 03/16/2011
Days on Market: 14
Settled Sales Price: $625,000.
Settlement Date: 04/28/2011
Seller Subsidy: $18,253.
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No
Type Of Financing: FHA-apparently proving that FHA does allow a main kitchen at below grade (see original comments)

Original Good Deal or Not post is: here

The listing can be seen: here. To see pics, open the listing link, click on the listing then scroll through from the main pic.

Only a couple of weeks ago, we looked at similar multiple offer escalating craziness in this same area. Note to anybody new to the DC real estate market: If the price is looking too good to be true, it might just be. Veteran listing agent with Coldwell Banker and Hill maven Bob Williams knows his market and priced this one to move.

Continues after the jump.

Even with the intense bidding war in 2011, this home sold more than $40,000. below what the most recent owner paid in 2008 (which was a net of $684,000). After figuring in closing costs and brokerage commission, that ends up being an even more significant hit. Prior sales were at $599,000. in 2006, $428,950. in 2003, and $229,000. with a $945. subsidy in 1999.

All this week I have the honor of representing DC Realtors at the National Association of Realtors annual Mid Year meetings. (If you work on the Hill, my sympathies, because I know you’re tired of seeing Realtors.) To provide some perspective, all week long I have been hearing from other state presidents about short sales, foreclosures, strategic defaults, tumbling values, double dips, fears of shadow inventories, and generally still struggling markets. We are extremely fortunate right now in DC to have one of the healthiest real estate markets in the country. Extremely.

  • Anonymous

    Healthy is one way of putting it.

  • b

    Dreaming of the day when I can afford something half that price. Sigh.

  • Hipster Harry

    No, only DC homeowners are extremely fortunate in today’s real estate market. People moving to DC from elsewhere, or current renters looking to buy are NOT fortunate – they can’t afford to buy. It’s really not that complicated. High home prices and stagnating income isn’t that great of a thing.

    • Tres

      Buying into an upward trending market is a very good thing for buyers. And there are affordable options. One can buy in Brookland, Trinidad, Fort Totten, etc. When some people say unaffordable, they mean, “Logan is so pricey, but I love Whole Foods so very much I can’t imagine living without it,” as they shed a wistful tear. Tip: don’t buy where the Whole Foods is, buy where it will be.

      A newly minted, single DCPS teacher can afford in any of the above neighborhoods. Two somewhat young, married teachers can afford a pretty nice house in Petworth. The trick to buying into a gentrifying market is to buy ahead of the trend. Buy in Logan in 2002. Buy in Eckington in 2008. Buy in X in 2011.

      • Anonymous

        “And there are affordable options. One can buy in Brookland, Trinidad, Fort Totten, etc.”

        Sorry, but as a single woman, I don’t feel living in any of these areas is a wise decision for me. I’m sure there are women that do it and we’ll hear from them, but it’s just not okay for me. I think it’s reasonable for people to decide that they don’t need to tolerate violence in order to own property. I’ll keep renting before I put my safety up for grabs.

        • Anonymous

          The American housing market hasn’t really been kind to single people of ANY gender since two income households became common. Even with a college degree and a “good job” the market just doesn’t support it other than in larger condo buildings or marginal neighborhoods (I’m not personally saying any of the neighborhoods mentioned are marginal).

          Get a business partner and buy a house together.

          • Anonymous

            I wholeheartedly second this.

        • Marcus Aurelius

          You shouldn’t compromise your safety. But the point of the original post was that by the time the neighbohood is “safe” enough for you to feel comfortable owning a home there, you probably won’t be able to afford a home there. Fact is, there are no bargains to be had in the “safest” and “best” neighborhoods in DC (or any major city for that matter).

          • Caroline

            Smart, smart statement.

        • PetworthRes

          Curious where you live now. I got raised eyebrows when I bought my house in Petworth as a single woman in 2005 and have since learned this area has less crime, especially property crime, than any neighborhood I have lived in DC before (Dupont, Mt. Pleasant, Adams Morgan. I suspect Brookland, Ft. Totten (and Brightwood also) probably have less crime than neighborhoods you’d consider to be safe in DC. Don’t assume a neighborhood has more crime because it is less affluent. It’s the affluence that attracts a lot of the crime in the first place.

          • feedme

            Also much less ‘walkable’ where do you do your grocery shopping?

        • H Street Landlord


          Did you look at this before making your inaccurate statement? Dupont’s crime is five times Brookland’s (using 1500 ft from their respective metro stops). Now granted there are more people in Dupont, so the crime rates are basically similar.

    • anonymous

      exactly. lived here for 11 years and still can’t afford a small place even though I work a decent-paying white collar job. the high rents make it even harder to save. we’re somewhat fortunate, yes, but it often feels like the rich getting richer. I also don’t feel a whole lot of pity for those who had to foreclose because they willingly bit off more than they could chew. my sympathy lays with those who bought their houses but now can’t afford to move because they can’t sell.

      • Anonymous

        Getting into your first house has ALWAYS been difficult even going back to the 50’s and 60’s. Back then people relied on their older family members for down payment assistance.

        If you can’t afford to buy and establish your life, you need to reconsider your job or your city of choice, or maybe just your assumptions about how everything works.

        • Anonymous

          With today’s standard downpayment requirement of 20% you still need to rely on family members for help. We saved a lot by renting a cheap place in Virginia for several years, but we still needed our parents to provide half the downpayment. Our closing costs alone were more than many people’s annual incomes. It sucks– my family is strictly blue collar and I hated borrowing from them, but we didn’t want to spend the next 7 years in our Virginia apartment, commuting 3 hours everyday, just to save up the rest of the money.

          • A

            What about FHA?

          • Anonymous

            In our case the PMI would have been an extra $400 or so a month, which is the case with a house in this price range if you’re putting down 10% or so.

          • Anon

            1:33 @ Anonymous – why would you buy a 600K house as a first home? Start smaller and work your way up.

          • Anonymous

            Because we’re two small girls and didn’t want to live in a sketchy neighborhood. And we’re not fans of condos. We just wanted a tiny inexpensive rowhouse in a decent neighborhood that wasn’t too far from work. That required at least $600k (which is more than affordable on our salaries). When we work our way up it’ll be the million dollar house. :)

          • SF

            If people are dead set on 600K “starter homes”, that’s fine. Just stop your bitching. It’s going to be hard.

            For the love of God, you can’t have it all.

          • SF

            On second thought, anybody who thinks $600K is a “starter home” should have their head examined.

          • Actually

            True. Starter homes in NW are more like $550k.

          • C

            Uh, $600k IS a starter home price in this neighborhood. I remember getting excited during my house hunting because I saw one that was under $600k in NE near Lincoln Park. It turned out the thing needed to be gutted, and it was tiny– the kitchen was in the basement and the 2nd bedroom was not big enough for a bed. Nevertheless, it sold quickly.

            So if a tiny shell is too extravagent for a starter home, what WOULD be appropriate?

          • Anonymous

            Why does the first home have to be a run-down condo in a bad location? Why not wait the extra 5-10 years and buy a decent house like this one? I don’t really get the logic that you must buy something shitty and upgrade later.

        • Caroline

          Something about this statement rub me the wrong way…

          • Anonymous

            Me too. I can’t blame anyone for wanting to buy a home, when they’re well-established professionally, in a safe part of the city, where their job and hundreds of other jobs are and where they should have no trouble selling if they need to later.

  • Caroline

    Er, rubs

  • D’oh!

    Was looking at the 2008 listing for 103 8th St SE when I made the incorrect statement above. This home was purchased for $599,000. in 2006 per the correct MLS data. Thanks, Bob, for pointing that out! My bad!


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