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GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 1923 Bennett Place, NE

by Prince Of Petworth March 22, 2013 at 11:00 am 25 Comments


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 popville.com 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: 1923 Bennett Place NE
Legal Subdivision: Trinidad
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Trinidad
Bedrooms: 2 Baths: 2.5
Original List Price: $299,000
List Price at Contract: $299,000
List Date: 2/14/13
Days on Market: 4
Settled Sales Price: $375,000
Seller Subsidy: $0
Settlement Date: 3/1/13
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No
Original GDoN post is: here.
The listing can be seen: here. To see pics, click on the camera icon after opening the link.

The listing agent, Tom Lewis, was kind enough to chime in on the original Good Deal or Not (GDoN) comments. I am hoping he comes back to tell us how many offers they ended up with. Given the list to sale price ratio, which is a whopping 25% increase, let’s assume there was some competition.

In previous GDoN-Revisited posts, we’ve looked at sales in Trinidad west of Bladensburg Road. This property is located east of Bladensburg Road and north of Benning Road, in a triangular parcel that is geographically somewhat sectioned off from the rest of the neighborhood. Similar to most neighborhoods in DC, prices rose in this area from the early to mid 2000’s. In 2005, this home sold for net $355,000. In 2011, it sold as a foreclosure at net $208,081. Currently, there are no actively listed houses in this immediate area. There are four under contract, though, ranging from list prices of $174,917 to $452,000.

Although the tight inventory and high demand are driving prices up throughout the city, current prices actually seem to be on track for where they would have been if there had been steady incremental appreciation. Personally, I expect to see the current momentum continue for a while, but not indefinitely. I had my first Sequestration-related listing appointment with someone who expects to have less income in the near future and is thinking about retiring early, and then a conversation later the same day with someone else who is bracing for a decrease in income.

Thomas Lewis with Redfin Corporation represented the seller. Ashton Vessali with Weichert, Realtors represented the buyer.

  • Wow…This place got bidded up almost 100K…Think in near future every single rowhouse in dc will be selling for no less than 500K. regardless of location.

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t count on that happening anytime soon.

      • Anonymous

        west of the river we are getting very close to this point now.

    • Anonymous

      For the record, it was bid up by $76,000. Not quite $100K, but still quite a bit.

  • Anonymous

    im surprised it went for so much more

  • Anonymous

    I’m genuinely curious how long it will take before sequestration takes a bigger toll on the market.

    • Anonymous

      It’s going to take quite a while. It’s a slow bleed, but the effects will eventually be felt. Most likely that will coincide with Federal Reserve policy tightening (rise in rates and less bond buying), so it will be a double-whammy on the area’s housing market.

      • Rich

        The “bond vigilantes” as Paul Krugman calls them have been predicting a run up in debt rates for literally years and it hasn’t happened. The effects of sequesterization will be downstream—contracts getting cut, that sort of thing. Professionals and managers working for govt contractors usually make more than Feds, while the grunts make less. Interestingly, the lobbyist law firms have less money to throw around for high priced hires these days which might finally chill the extreme high end of the market. But interest rates….they’ve continued to go down.

        • Anonymous

          I agree with many of your points.

          However, the Fed is already publicly committed to raising rates in 2015, at the latest. We know that for a fact. Before they raise rates, they will slow down the purchase of MBS, which will put upward pressure on long dated interest rates (like your standard 30 year mortgage). All this is going to happen when sequestration will start being felt; it’s a double hit to our local housing market.

    • ET

      I wonder if it will hit the burbs more. The DoD is going to take a HUGE hit and I suspect that a lot of their workers work in the MD/VA burbs. The rest of the federal agencies likely have most of their employees in the burbs as well.

      • Anonymous

        That’s what I think. I’ve been a DoD contractor for almost 7 years, and I can’t think of a single person I’ve ever worked with who lived in DC (even though that’s where we work). And as you noted most of the DoD jobs are in the suburbs also.

        • hipchickindc

          DC is a company town, so if people who work for the govment are hurting, it’s going to effect the rest of us. The person I had the listing appointment with (who is thinking of selling because his income is decreasing) works on The Hill and lives in DC.

      • It doesn’t really matter where they work, it matters where they choose to live. Most of my department’s offices are in the District, but very few employees live there. In my division (admittedly not that big, maybe 50 people), only a couple of us live in DC. Everyone else is in the suburbs.

  • Trinidad?

    This isn’t in Trinidad, it’s in Langston. I would be pretty skeptical of prices rising much higher: it’s two or three blocks of Langston Terrace Dwellings and Carver Terrace, two rough projects.

  • Tom Lewis – Redfin

    I am sure this isn’t a shock to many readers but this is a CRAZY market. There is just over one month of active inventory which really swings the market in the seller’s favor. Generally six months of active inventory indicates an even market and anything over six months is a buyer’s market. All of that being said, it is my pleasure to share some insights on this listing.

    My seller ended up with six wonderful offers. The top offer escalated to $400K and the offer we selected escalated to $375K. Surprisingly enough, none of the offers were all cash. Typically in a multiple offer situation, we are used to seeing at least one cash offer which makes it very difficult for the others.

    We ultimately selected the $375K offer for a few reasons.
    1) It was the first offer we received, and the buyer revised their terms several times to make it more attractive. The buyer’s agent was very communicative and that gave us confidence in moving forward with the offer.
    2) The buyer took the property with a five day GENERAL inspection contingency. This ultimately meant they would not come back and ask for any repairs. Obviously this is a very appealing term for any seller. That being said, the buyer did have the right to void should they not like the results of the inspection.
    3) We wanted to go with the higher priced escalation clause, but given the way escalation clauses work, the offer that was willing to escalate to $400,000 would have only beat the winning offer by an increment of $3,100. If the increment had been more substantial, there is a possibility that the end result could have been much different. The increment wasn’t large enough to sway the seller away from the offer that ultimately won.
    4) The down payment amount for the offer we selected was much higher than the second best offer. There are a variety of reasons why a higher down payment would preferred when comparing multiple offers. To find out why, I would advise speaking with your local real estate professional.
    5) Closing date was also an important term. At the time of listing, the property was vacant and a quick settlement was definitely important. The winning offer selected a settlement date of March 8th. There were a few delays and we missed the target date by a week, but the important thing is that we closed.

    There is no doubt that this is a painful market for buyers. This is just one of many stories involving a house that escalates significantly over list price. I wish I could tell you that we listed low as a strategy, but we didn’t. We listed in a range that looked like it would appraise based on comparables in the area.

    If you are a buyer in today’s market, the best thing to do is have a candid conversation about your needs with your agent prior to starting your search. Let your agent know your comfort thresholds, get pre-approved with a local lender, and most importantly prepare to be flexible with your offer. Remember this is not a buyer’s market.

    Tom Lewis, Redfin Area Manager DC/Northern VA
    [email protected]

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the thorough analysis– I think it would be helpful for some of the first-time homebuyers on here. In our case, we got the first offer in, we were able to settle quickly, and the selling agent happened to owe our agent a favor so he convinced the sellers to go with us. ;)

    • Not a buyer’s market at all. Which is why I’d recommend looking in MD/VA if you can handle being outside the city for a while until the market iin DC improves for buyers (if it ever does). At the least, buying better priced homes outside of DC allows one to invest in a home when they can’t afford to buy in DC, and then down the road sell it and actually be able to afford a down payment for the crazy DC prices.

      • Anonymous

        VA doesn’t have better prices. Parts of MD, yes, and outside of the Beltway, but then there’s a big quality of life tradeoff if you’re commuting to the city every day.

      • Anonymous

        you can’t buy jack in Arlington for 500k. If you’re talking outside the beltway, it’s really apples and oranges

  • Anon x2

    Wow, this area is hot. Each time I think I have a handle on the market over there it surprises me again.

  • Anonymous

    That’s not Trinidad! It’s actually a far, far worse neighborhood than Trinidad.

    • Anonymous

      The legal subdivision is Trinidad, but yes this neighborhood is called Carver/Langston.

      And guess what? A few years ago people would have been saying the same exact thing about Trinidad. Those of you who think this neighborhood is so bad and won’t appreciate are pretty short-sighted.

      • Anonymous

        Still, you have to admit that this a stupid price for this location and the state of the house. That kitchen looks like it’s 50 square feet and it’s a mediocre, blase renovation.

        Mr. Lewis did a helluva job for his client. Which is really scary.

        • Anonymous

          Hm, sounds pretty bitter to me.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think it has anything to do with the listing. I think people are desperate due to low inventory and anything that shows up under 400k and isn’t in terrible condition ends up in a bidding war. Just a lucky time to be selling…


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