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Sold in 8 Days – 3628 New Hampshire Ave, NW

by Prince Of Petworth July 22, 2016 at 10:00 am 33 Comments

Exterior (Front) -

Exterior (Front) –

Hipchickindc (aka Suzanne Des Marais) 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). Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property: 3628 New Hampshire Ave NW

Legal Subdivision: Columbia Heights
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Columbia Heights
Bedrooms: 4 Baths: 2.5 Parking: Carport Ownership: Fee Simple
Lot Square Footage per Tax Record: 1955
Original List Price: $679,000.
List Price at Contract: $679,000.
List Date: 05/23/2016
Days on Market: 8
Settled Sales Price: $715,000.
Seller Subsidy: $5000.
Settlement Date: 07/06/2016
Transaction type: Standard

Original GDoN post is: here.

The listing can be seen here: here.

The multiple listing system in the Washington, DC Metro region first went online as a dial up (not internet based until a few years later) in the mid 1990’s. Prior to listings being available on this closed computer system to agents only, listings were printed out for each real estate office in an MLS book. Every once in a while, while poking through listing history for a Good Deal or Not Revisited post, there is a house that has a few old listings which give us a bit of a time capsule view into the District’s real estate market.

This is a 104 year old house, so consider that this is just a small fraction of her story, over the last twenty one years:

Listed in September 1995 for $180,000. Sold for $180,000. Total taxes: $700. 3 days on the market (unusually quick for back then).

3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. No pictures and no remarks. At that time, the agent would put the listing info into the system and several days later, the multiple listing system would send out a photographer to take a pic of the front of the property. No interior pics were included until many years later. Buyers were 100% reliant upon agents to pick out listings to show them since there was no consumer facing access to listings.

Listed in July 1996 for $108,000. It settled in October 1996 for $104,000. with a $2500. seller subsidy. 63 days on market. Still 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. Here are the remarks:

“Brand new renovation, everything sparkles!!! Kitchen has tons of cabinets. The floors just gleam. New light fixtures throughout! And wait til you see the only furnace/laundry room in town that is carpeted!!! (Carpet guys screwed up…) Garage is in “as is” condition. Parking very hard due to Metro construction…soon will be walking distance to metro!”

The last sale prior to the 2016 transfer was back in 2004, when it was originally listed for $414,950., and eventually sold after 112 days on market for $384,000.

The listing agent for this 2016 sale was Dwight Pearson with W.C & A.N. Miller, Realtors, A Long and Foster Company. Fleur Howgill with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty represented the Buyer.

  • Park View

    Wow. The price is insane! It appears to be a Home Depot special (ie. low grade fixtures, tile selection, etc ) on a busy street, and a poor looking one at that. Well, to each their own, I guess.

    • cray-cray

      well said Park View…crazy price for that..the way it looks….

    • stacksp


  • JS

    I said in the other thread that this would go for $725K, but I’m still surprised someone paid this much for a house in this shape.

    • west_egg

      Agreed. When I read JS’ surprise about someone paying that price for “a house in this shape” I was expecting much worse. The fact that all the walls haven’t been removed is actually a selling point for some.

      • textdoc

        +1 to WestEgg. Maybe there’s something I’m not seeing, but it doesn’t look to me to be “poor looking” or in bad shape.
        I wonder if it isn’t comparing well to its peers in part because there’s not much in the way of staging furniture.

        • Park View

          Typically, when developers have selected the lowest grade materials, instead of paying 10-20% more for reliable appliances, and fixtures, it doesn’t take a great leap of faith to assume that they are doing the minimum (or less) for the truly important stuff that you aren’t seeing until its too late (hiring unskilled labor rather master plumbers and electricians) … Also for those in the market, pay attention to the skill (or lack there of) applied to the finish work as is this another useful tipoff for flagging renos to steer clear of.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I agree with that as far as it goes, but would not necessarily extend it to homes being sold by owner-occupants who lived in them for many years. I would not regard a normal homeowner buying less expensive appliances and finishes as a red flag.

          • textdoc

            Park View, I think that’s a good point as far as developer flips, but I agree with Haile Unlikely on homeowner-installed appliances.
            When I’ve been selecting appliances, I’m usually looking for one that is on the cheaper side BUT has excellent user reviews. I don’t think less $$ makes an appliance inherently less reliable.
            There are of course some general correlations, like Bosch and Miele. But just because something isn’t top-of-the-line doesn’t mean it’s not reliable.

      • west_egg

        Interesting, this was actually meant to be a reply to textdoc’s comment just below. :shrug:

        • textdoc

          I was wondering about that. ;)

      • JS

        $715K for a house that features the absolute cheapest tile, fixtures, and appliances available? Yes, I’m surprised someone paid that.

        • Jane

          Idiotic question from a soon-to-be first-time homeowner: how can you tell the tile, fixtures and appliances are “the absolute cheapest” just from the photos? What are the indicators?

          • JS

            If you’ve spent any time picking out stuff for home renovations, it’s scary how quickly you start to recognize items in real estate listings.

          • JoDa

            I have to agree with JS that you just start to see the stuff over and over again, and if you’ve ever priced it, you know. I actually have those exact same appliances (I did not pick them). They are cheap and not particularly reliable. I agree with Haile below that if the homeowner wants something more up-market, it’s not a huge expense to replace.
            I actually don’t find the bathroom tile that offensive. They didn’t try to go with something that only looks expensive and comes off tacky. If you’re going to go cheap on tile, going with some very basic is the most appealing option in my opinion (dress it up with some nice decor and it becomes unnoticeable).
            I think a lot of the value here comes in the yard, parking, and in-law suite, on top of the proximity to Metro. I love the back yard, even if it is a bit drab right now. Basement ceiling looks *just barely* legal, and set-up means that only laundry would have to be shared if rented, as far as I can tell.

          • shepherder

            i wouldn’t even worry about it if i were you. you’re probably better off getting cheap, and upgrading it over time, rather than rolling it into your mortgage and paying for it over 30 years with interest. plus, then you get your exact preference.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I suspect it was probably purchased by somebody who placed a high value on convenient access to metro, Columbia Heights/Petworth amenities, a whole house as opposed to a condo, and something that is move-in ready as opposed to badly beaten up and in need of actual repairs as opposed to discretionary upgrades. Personally, I don’t need or even want high-end sh!t. I’d be happy with all of the fixtures and finishes here. And if I changed my mind, I’d replace them myself, which is neither difficult nor expensive. From that standpoint, I’m not sure there are a lot of options much better than this in the area. I can’t see paying $715K for this, but I’m not surprised that somebody did.

          • James W.

            I actually think property values should decline with increasing proximity to Columbia Heights metro…

          • textdoc

            It’s about a block from the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro. HaileUnlikely was talking about “Columbia Heights/Petworth amenities,” not the Metro stations of both.

        • textdoc

          I’m not a fan of the bathroom floor tile, but the plain white tile in the shower looked fine to me. (And a relief from the super-busy ones we see so often, which are going to look pretty dated in 5-10 years.)

  • textdoc

    I was expecting something really crappy-looking based on Park View’s comments, and was surprised to find that the house looked reasonably nice in the photos. I particularly like that they kept the original woodwork, transom windows, doors, etc.
    The fixtures/finishes don’t look screamingly bad to me, but perhaps I have plebeian taste.

    • textdoc

      I acknowledge that the house is lacking in curb appeal, though.
      At least the new owners gets to decide whether they want to paint the brick facade, rather than having that decision made for them by a flipper.

    • textdoc

      I think the house’s curb appeal could’ve been improved by removing the security door or replacing it with a more attractive model, and by redoing the landscaping (in the back too). The shrubs mean the viewer can’t see into the yard, and some of the shrubs are looking a bit scraggly.

  • Anon

    Looks like Transplated owes me a pint for our bet…

    • transplanted

      I do, if you are in fact that anon!

  • TinkerTaylor

    It was interesting to learn how far public access to listing information generally, and MLS information specifically, has come in the past 20 years. In my view, it makes the relatively modest movement on realtor commissions indefensible. Past time to break the realtor cartel!

    • anon

      Nobody is stopping anyone from using the internet to sell their home themselves – that should have gotten much easier since the use of internet increased years ago, and the existence of cut-rate broker services who assist FSBOs by basically just putting the listings on the MLS for sellers who hire them. The fact that most sales are still through brokerages says something about how many people choose to do it themselves that, or are successful at dong that. I think most sellers want the highest possible price, and that there is something about brokers that helps drive prices up – on individual homes and over markets generally.

  • Eric

    Given the location, most likely a developer will be changing it into 2-3 condos selling for $800-$999K/each. Other houses on the block have gone this way.

    • Ilivenextdoor

      Happy to report that it was not bought by a developer and none of the houses on our block have gone that way…even the million dollar house is a single family home!

      • JS

        I think Eric meant the next block north – those houses tend to be a bit bigger and I think all but one has gone multi-unit condo.

      • textdoc

        Good to know, Ilivenextdoor! I’m so tired of developers pouncing and jacking up the prices for everyone else.

  • stacksp

    I guess if you have some cash you can turn this into a million dollar home through upgrades.

  • mjb

    Great investment and lots of opportunity to customize/upgrade.


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