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by PoP Sponsor October 11, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0

This column is written by Metro DC Houses, a local real estate team serving DC, MD, VA made up of Colin Johnson, the immediate past President for the D.C. Association of Realtors and Christopher Suranna, the current President for the D.C. Association of Realtors.

Should you sell a 6-bedroom, 2-half bath, Renovated House in 2018?  The real estate data says Yes!

This month we ended up with some interesting conclusions after taking a look at some of the relationships between sales price, bedroom counts, square footage and condition for all of the 3,442 sales of houses (fee-simple) that have occurred in the city in 2018.

While the overall direct relationship between average close price and higher bedroom counts seems normal, one thing that jumped out at us was the slight dip in sales price when going from a one-bedroom single-family home to a two-bedroom.

This could be due to the fact that lots that are unimproved are still input into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as single-family homes and the MLS requires these listings to have at least one bedroom for them to count as houses.

What is the Ideal Number of Bedrooms for Value? (more…)

by PoP Sponsor September 27, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0

This home is located at 2120 Vermont Avenue NW #623. This unit hits the market next week on Wednesday, October 3rd and a catered twilight open house will be held at the home on Thursday, October 4th from 6-8 p.m. The description says:

Savor life in this magnificent two level, 2 bedroom/2 bathroom penthouse residence with sweeping views of the city! The second level can serve as a den or 3rd bedroom.

This home boasts shimmering maple floors, stainless steel appliances, floor-to-ceiling windows, two large secured storage rooms, four parking spaces, stone countertops and a private outdoor terrace with access to community roof deck and grills.

Ideally situated in the Shaw/U Street corridor, you will never get bored living at The Rhapsody.

If you want to get out of the house for a bit, head over to one of the numerous restaurants or pubs and then catch a movie at the Atlantic Plumbing Cinema. Or go shopping in the area’s many stores. Need groceries? Trader Joe’s is a stone’s throw away on 14th Street and Whole Foods is expected to debut across the street in the near future.

With excellent proximity to the Shaw and U Street Metro Stations, you can dart anywhere around the city in the blink of an eye! Excitement, luxury and convenience are just a few of the words that come to mind if you call 623 at The Rhapsody home!

Features Include:

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by PoP Sponsor September 20, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0

This column in written by Randy LiVorsi, of the District Residential Group. A DC resident for 16 years, he is licensed in DC and VA. Randy holds a Masters in Organizational Management and Development and is a certified project manager with a current PMP. Each month he will dig into all things DC area real estate. He is also a General in the KISS Army, so get ready to rock and real estate all night, and party every day!

Thinking of buying but not sure what you can actually afford in the nation’s capital? This month features Part 1 of The Dig’sWhat Can 500K Buy You in DC?” For the first part of this series I’ll be uncovering listings in the NW and NE quadrants of the city. October’s column will dig into SW & SE — right smack in the middle of the Fall 2018 market. Bookmark me so you can come back for more next month!

Criteria

  • Max list price of 500K
  • 400+ sq. ft. (square feet)
  • For any condos, fee must be < $400
  • Standard Sale (excludes potential foreclosures & short sales)

NORTHWEST

In Northwest, my search uncovered 63 listings. All condos — no fee simple (single family homes). No surprises there!

Let’s take a look at a few that I felt show some level of promise that all is not lost in terms of affordability in NW.

2440 16th St. NW, Unit 203

  • Space: 0 Bed, 1 Bath
  • List Price: $229,000
  • sq. ft.: 400
  • Price per sq. ft.: $572.50
  • Neighborhood: Adams Morgan

Features: Large windows that allow plenty of light to enter and what looks to be a beautiful view. With a modest remodel of the kitchen this unit could truly shine. Condo fee is $305. Listed by Chelsea Traylor with Redfin.

435 Kennedy St. NW, Unit #1

  • Space: 2 Bed, 2 Bath
  • List Price: $324,500
  • sq. ft.: 895
  • Price per sq. ft.: $362.50
  • Neighborhood: Brightwood

Features: Off-street parking is included in the list price.. This might show better than the photos. With the right agent…”cough, cough…ahem…” (more…)

by PoP Sponsor September 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0

This column is written by Metro DC Houses, a local real estate team serving DC, MD, VA made up of Colin Johnson, the immediate past President for the D.C. Association of Realtors and Christopher Suranna, the current President for the D.C. Association of Realtors.

One of my favorite books growing up is Shel Silverstein’s book “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and it’s iconic front cover of kids looking under this thin ledge only to find that much of the ground is already gone.

I have been noticing for years the softening of the rental market especially in Class B type units B (typically slightly lower quality and less amenities). This was especially evident when I had a client tell me that government-reimbursed programs were compensating him more than what he could get on the open market. This piece in Bloomberg highlights how Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Portland and D.C. market rent rates have cooled.

Rental markets are hard to track in my opinion because landlords don’t routinely market through consistent mediums. Not all rentals are on Zillow, Craigslist nor the regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS); where MLS tends to have more than 90% of sales.

Rental markets are driven by supply and affordability. If consumers have more to choose from, they will feel empowered to negotiate or look for less expensive units. If the “rent is too damn high,” people will not be able to qualify or simply cannot afford to pay the rent.

We looked at a few neighborhoods to see if the rental market is down and since when. We exported every transaction that was recorded in the MLS since January 1, 2009 for one and two bedroom rentals in zip codes that roughly correspond to neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, the Connecticut Avenue corridor, Petworth, Anacostia and Dupont Circle.

Rental prices for 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units show a gradual increase from 2009 through 2017 in all of the zip codes that we looked at. So far, in 2018 the increase in rent prices across the city has experienced a slowdown for 1-bedroom units, while 2-bedroom rents are still rising.

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by PoP Sponsor September 6, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0

This house is located at 1533 8th Street NW in Shaw. Tomorrow is the first day it’s on the market, with the first open house scheduled for Sunday 1-4 p.m. The description says:

“For generations, she’s stood stalwartly in this precious nook of the District. This grand dame of Shaw has seen it all. And today she is ready to write her next chapter with you. Certainly, she will not disappoint.

Step inside and be immediately awestruck by the soaring, 11-foot ceilings. On this floor, a liberating archway marries the living space for you to do with what you will, tucked up against a galley kitchen brimming with storage space.

Pass through to the rear and continue to be amply amazed — this time by the deck and terrace. While the former easily offers space for dining and entertaining, the latter refines the whole look with flagstone and built-in seating, accented by a mesmerizing fire feature.

Just beyond, you’ll find secure parking big enough for two cars, and even more storage for outdoor cushions, gardening tools, barbecue implements and the like.

Back inside, heading up the polished staircase, you land at the smart lounge, an intimate escape for more personal pastimes. On this floor, you will also find a full bath and a bedroom with its own oversized balcony.

Continuing your ascent, you arrive at the third floor, a dedicated master suite. Here, the stackable washer and dryer are tucked neatly next to the barely two-year-old HVAC system.

Out of the bedroom and into the double-vanity bath is where you’ll find what is arguably the jewel in this queen’s crown: the expansive, spa-like double shower with glass-block window. Nothing sets the tone for seizing the day like waking up to this inviting oasis.

And to end the day? Continue from the master suite up the spiral staircase to the roof for sublime sunset vistas.

Returning to location, this aforementioned ‘precious nook’ is just that. Within a couple blocks in any direction, so much of what makes D.C. a global capital is on offer.

Enjoy a Franco-American feast at Convivial. Or perhaps a ‘boot’ of pilsner at Dacha Beer Garden? Some wonderful ramen at Chaplin Restaurant and Bar? You won’t even need to leave the block to sample a seasonally updated spread at Beau Thai or a glass of something perfect at La Jambe wine bar.

Aside from so many spectacular standouts, this location is also perfectly practical with a flagship Giant grocery store just across P Street and the Shaw Howard Metro Station’s Green and Yellow lines merely more than 1,000 feet from your doorstep.

The Empress on 8th is reliably sound and warmly welcoming. These inherent qualities are surpassed only by her highly enviable location.”

You can see more photos, video, and floor plans here.

This 3 bed/3 bath/2-car garage Victorian townhouse is going for $1,299,000.

by PoP Sponsor August 30, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0

This column is written by Marcus Correll, the Marketing Coordinator at RLAH Real Estate. He is not a licensed agent, nor intends to be portrayed as such, but he is entrenched in the industry helping approximately 200 agents with their marketing.

Every couple of years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducts a nationwide survey to identify home buyer and seller statistics, the most recent one from earlier this year.

Some of the more interesting stats to our firm include how consumers come to select their real estate agent. Zillow, one of the most visited real estate search sites, also performed a similar study in 2017 which provided additional insight.

It’s helpful in our business to monitor and understand consumer behavior. Commissioned sales people are seeking out new clients to represent. Agents who are representing sellers need to know how to effectively get the property in front of buyers.

Some highlights of the report are below with some added commentary, as well as a poll. We want to hear from the local readers — where are people finding their real estate agents?

The following stats and characteristics were found from the 2017 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Report:

  • 42% of buyers first looked online while 17% contacted an agent first
  • 86% of buyers used an agent or a broker, 7% directly from a builder or builder’s agent
  • 42% of buyers used an agent referred by a friend, relative or neighbor
  • 7 in 10 buyers interviewed only 1 agent
  • 80% of buyers would use their agent again and recommend to others

The 2018 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Report takes these stats a step further… (more…)

by PoP Sponsor August 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0

This column in written by Randy LiVorsi, of the District Residential Group. A DC resident for 16 years, he is licensed in DC and VA. Randy holds a Masters in Organizational Management and Development and is a certified project manager with a current PMP. Each month he will dig into all things DC area real estate. He is also a General in the KISS Army, so get ready to rock and real estate all night, and party every day!

For first time home buyers, one of the most ‘understudied’ and intimidating parts of the purchase transaction is the process of selecting not just a lender, but also discerning what mortgage product best fits their needs.

In my experience, the most common reason first time buyers shy away from adeptly navigating this component revolves around one thing — fear.

Fear of the unknown, fear of the perceived complexities of both the products as well as the process of obtaining a mortgage. Like anything else, if an emotion drives behavior that leads to avoidance, it can result in an unnecessary ‘handicap’ that can be costly.

In this month’s installment, I share three tips to amp up your readiness as a buyer and a bonus fourth for the real overachievers!

1. Eliminate ego and critically assess your own level of knowledge.

Read, read, read, read… and then read more. Don’t be intimidated by what you identify as shortcomings.

Create a punch list of those specific items​ — whatever they may be (eg. the difference Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM) vs. an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM).

Next, do independent research — ​there’s no one you will trust more than yourself. Don’t ​rely​ on what your friend said last week — there are too many extraneous variables specific to YOUR purchase goals that likely do not align with the well meaning advice of your friend.

2. Establish a comfortable baseline where you can confidently speak to a loan officer without experiencing crippling levels of anxiety or nervousness.  (more…)

by PoP Sponsor August 9, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0


This column is written by Metro DC Houses, a local real estate team serving DC, MD, VA made up of Colin Johnson, the immediate past President for the D.C. Association of Realtors and Christopher Suranna, the current President for the D.C. Association of Realtors.

The question we wanted to answer this month is, “do condo fees negatively impact appreciation if over an average number?”

We chose the Georgetown zip code 20007 and found over the last 10 years the average condo fee for a one-bedroom unit is $514 dollars per month.

Condo fees vary based on services provide in building, so our assumption is condos with higher fees have more services and units with lower fees have fewer services. We didn’t consider anything except bedroom-count and on average we saw fewer units sold with higher condo fees (29 units) and more with lower condo fees (52 units).

There is another thing to consider in this evaluation, borrowing power because condo fees can limit the amount a purchaser can borrow if they are only approved for a certain amount per month.

As an example, if someone is qualified to afford $2000 a month and a condo fee is $500 that purchaser can now only afford debt equal to $1500 per month and obviously interest rates vary with that amount.

Based on our findings higher condo fees do negatively impact appreciation for units that have fees above average over the last ten years. For units that have condo fees below average the properties did appreciated slightly higher. One should also note that units with higher condo fees typically sell at a higher sales price than units with lower condo fees.

In our experience, condo fees do not directly relate one-to-one on value, but it can be concluded that enough consumers did not take this into consideration when conducting comps.

It is likely in some cases a consumer compared a lower condo fee unit with one of a higher condo fee, which typically sells for a higher price and in enough of those situations probably over-valued those properties over the years.

by PoP Sponsor July 26, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0

This column is written by D.C. Realtor and resident Sean Forschler.  Licensed in DC, MD & VA, he has been in the business since 2001 and currently works at RLAH Real Estate. He may be contacted at [email protected].

Before answering this question, you need to first understand what “title” is in reference to property.

In the simplest terms, it means ownership. When you take title to something, you take ownership, like when you get the title to a car. When a property is being purchased, the title company (a.k.a. settlement company) researches the public records to verify that the ownership of the subject property has been legally transferred from party to party.

Over the years, mistakes in these records happen. Such a search can also turn up unreleased mortgages and other liens on the property, like a tax lien or mechanics lien.

Title searches revealing such defects are common enough and generally, quite fixable. However, even the most careful and thorough title searches can miss important information and hazards, despite the knowledge and experience of professional title examiners.

Title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search. For example, if 16-year old signed documents transferring the property to another owner, this would be a problem since that person was a minor. Or, say a couple divorces and one of them sells the property as a sole owner and pockets the proceeds. Not legal! (more…)

by PoP Sponsor July 19, 2018 at 12:15 pm 0

This column in written by Randy LiVorsi, of the District Residential Group. A DC resident for 16 years, he is licensed in DC and VA. Randy holds a Masters in Organizational Management and Development and is a certified project manager with a current PMP. Each month he will dig into all things DC area real estate. He is also a General in the KISS Army, so get ready to rock and real estate all night, and party every day!

With so many cranes across D.C., and the incredible amount of real estate development and opportunities happening, let’s dig into the 20020 zip code (Historic Anacostia, Hill Crest, Randle Heights and many others). We’ll see what’s there, what’s coming and how these developments are driving factors influencing that market.

If you’ve been or are considering purchasing, this should provide timely, valuable information. For 20020 sellers, this is pertinent information that affects the value of your home.

What’s already there?

Uniontown Bar and Grill plus other restaurants along MLK are showing that small local businesses can open and thrive.

Hive 2.0, a small business incubator, acts as home base for more than 55 entrepreneurs, and a lively arts district gives this area an established lively culture and strong base.

What’s coming will supercharge the area. Let’s take a look.

11th St. Bridge Park 

Announced in 2014 and being built on the old pillars of the 11th St. Bridge, this expansive ‘bridge park’ will be roughly the size of 3 football fields placed back to back spanning the Anacostia River (connecting Wards 6 and Wards 7 & 8).

D.C.’s first ‘elevated public park’ this ambitious project is intended to be a green space used for residents on both sides of the river to explore healthy recreation, environmental education, entertainment (yes, concerts on a bridge ABOVE the river) and a shared platform for the arts.

Similar to the High Line in NYC, this is a green initiative repurposing the pylons with what looks to be a spectacular pedestrian park bridge.

The Wizards Training Center

Although located in adjacent zip code 20032, this project will bring benefits to not just its home zip, but the southern part of 20020.

(more…)

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