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Sold in 54 Days, The “BANISHMENT HOUSE”

Good Deal or Not Revisited (GDoN-R) is a weekly post that reviews the settled sales data of a recent individual real estate transaction in the District of Columbia. Each post is intended as a case study and a snapshot of the real estate market at a particular moment in time. GDoN-R generally posts on Friday in the late morning.

GDoN-R has been written exclusively for PoPville since 2009 by Suzanne Des Marais. Suzanne is a practicing Realtor with Compass. 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 MRIS (Metropolitan Regional Information Systems), which is the local multiple listing system and/or Smartcharts by Showingtime. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property: 1636 13th St NW
Legal Subdivision: Old City #2
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Logan Circle
Bedrooms: 2 Baths: 2 Parking: Street Ownership: Fee Simple
House Square Footage per Listing: 1300
Original List Price: $999,000. List Price at Contract: $945,000.
List Date: 9/28/2017 Days on Market: 54
Settled Sales Price: $935,000.
Seller Subsidy: $0.
Settlement Date: 1/5/2018
Transaction type: Standard
Original GDoN post can be seen: here.
The original listing can be seen here: here.

This Logan Circle townhome makes efficient use of a very small (360 square feet per tax record) lot. The very vertical fee simple house has a bedroom each on the main and top levels, and the kitchen is below grade, where it likely was when originally built. We used to see a lot more of these around, but the kitchens often get moved up to make room for rental units. The lower level kitchen is/was sometimes seen in homes based on shallow lots.

In poking around through the old MRIS listings for this property, I came across a very intriguing comment in the agent remarks from when it was on the market in 2000. Paul Sliwka, still very active in DC real estate and now the Broker for Central Properties on V St, wrote “SPECTACULAR, FRESH, CONTEMPORARY RENOVATION OF “BANISHMENT HOUSE”(SEE FARM REMARKS)”.

Sadly, the Farm Remarks are a field that no longer exists in the multiple listing system. Happily, Paul Sliwka is quick to answer his texts. He told me that what he remembered being told (from seventeen or so years ago) was that the house to the left on the corner was owned by a judge and he had an adult son who was a mess, so he built the house on his back lot and made the son live in the little house. (So basically, the original accessory dwelling unit.)

I also checked in with local DC Neighborhood and House History Mavens, Brian Kraft and Sarah Shoenfeld. Brian immediately knew of the house of interest. He pointed me toward the house to the left on the corner that Paul mentioned above. It turns out that 1301 Corcoran St NW is well known as the “Zalmon Richards House”, and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Brian noted that Richards’ second wife, Mary Frances, had 1636 13th St NW built in the rear of the property in 1887, probably because they were strapped. An 1892 directory has a clerk named Wm. W. Porter residing there (possibly a renter). An 1892 real estate map shows both houses on one lot.

The current listing agent for this transaction was Ed Carp with Continental Properties, Ltd. Melinda Estridge, with Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc. represented the Purchaser

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