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Ever Wonder About these Real Estate Auctions? Check Out Video of one in Ledroit Park

by Prince Of Petworth April 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm 18 Comments

Dear PoPville,

I happened to leave the house yesterday afternoon just as the bidding was about to begin for 1952 2nd Street NW, which is a house in very poor condition on the Ledroit Park side of 2nd St. It ended up selling for $625,000 + 6%, so about $660,000! A real-life example of the economics of the real estate market right now, and why row houses get ‘flipped’ into two units. I guess they will spend $200-300K on renovation, which means they will need to make well over a million selling it.

  • Here are some pictures of the house so you can see just how bad the condition was: http://www.trulia.com/property/3113812309-1952-2nd-St-NW-Washington-DC-20001

  • There was to be an auction on the 3800 block of New Hampshire yesterday in Petworth. Any idea how that one went?

    • Anonymous

      The house on New Hampshire sold for $479,120.

      • JS

        That’s actually not bad. If an owner-occupant bought it, figure 200K for reno, and 680K is less than what that house would sell for it were flipped. Given that it was an auction, it probably was flipped. Look for it to relist in the mid 700s soon.

  • Anonymous

    The housing market here is officially ludicrous. I should’ve bought in 10 years ago. Now I’m priced out of all the neighborhoods I want to live in. Guess I’ll be renting for a while. Thank God for rent control!

  • Utterly insane

  • Seriously? That seems like an incredibly awful purchase, but maybe they know something about hidden gold underneath that I don’t.

  • There’s no hidden gold in this property, look at the pictures on Trulia.

    However the economics work if they can cut it into two condos for less than $300,000 in renovation costs and sell each of the condos for over $500,000, which the market suggests that they will be able to do. It’s pretty borderline, however, and definitely goes to show that auctions are always better for sellers than buyers.

    There is no better evidence of “the market” in action, observable, than an auction, however. Someone put cash on the table for this.

  • a cleint of mind considered this property. Is is a HUGE lot, offering the ability for a large addtion, and still leaving room for lots of parking and yard. You could even go up a floor. R4 zoning limits to 2 units by right. But you could do two 2-story 2000sf units w 2 parking each. There is no doubt value in this property. Tho at that purchase price, and no way you do all that for 300k, they are going to need to get well over 500k each to make a profit. tricky. The buyer may be hedging bets to get a zoning variance for more units, in which case it’s a gold mine.

    • HPO is the wild card… Agree that it is a huge lot, but the $660,000 purchase price makes the economics tricky as you note.

  • manimal

    it’s hard to believe.

  • MikeinDC

    Don’t believe the hype. Real Estate tax auctions aren’t like auctions most are used to. You don’t win the house right away. The owner of the property has 6 months to redeem the property by paying past taxes AND the interest, 18% a month. If they do, they keep the house. But the bidder gets the interest.

    So, it’s actually a good investment, depending on what is put up. 90% of the time, you won’t get the house, but you will get a larger return than you can get elsewhere. Maybe enough to make it a worthwhile hobby. Oops, just added to the hype.

    • Anonymous

      This wasn’t a tax auction

    • As a disclosure, my name is Matthew Cooper and I am an employee of Alex Cooper Auctioneers, Inc. We were the auctioneers for the property. I can confirm this was not a tax sale. It was just a private investor using auction as the sale method instead of a conventional listing.

  • Anonymous

    I went to their auction for a set of 6 condos on Webster St. NE earlier in the day. It was an interesting scene and was over in about 5 minutes.

  • NH

    660K ??? Heck….you can have my Petworth rowhouse for 460K.

  • How do you find out about these auctions?

    • As a disclosure, my name is Matthew Cooper and I am an employee of Alex Cooper Auctioneers, Inc. We were the auctioneers for the property. The blog won’t seem to let me post a hyperlink but if you google Alex Cooper Auctioneers and go to the real estate section you can find all of our upcoming auctions as well as our past results. We also have an email list you can sign up for.


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