Posted tagged ‘Real Estate’

Park View Real Estate Heating Up. Is it the Next Up and Coming Neighborhood?

July 9, 2012

When I first heard from a realtor friend of mine that the Park View neighborhood has become one of the current “hot” places for new home buyers and developers, I was fairly certain that he was teasing me. However, in looking around the neighborhood over the past month or so, I’m not so sure now.

My experience with Park View real estate in the past few years is that it infrequently comes on the market, and when it does it can sit for a while if the house isn’t perfect. During the past year, however, this has changed. Houses are being listed more frequently and those that need more than a little work are attracting developers if not home buyers. Most interestingly is that there is a growing trend for a house to be listed but not have an open house. Most still have signs out front, but even that isn’t a given. I’ve also seen the return of multiple offers with escalations.

Below is a sample of four houses in the neighborhood that are currently under renovation. It will be interesting to to see how these properties fair when they’re completed and put back on the market.

  1. 445 Lamont Street

    445 Lamont Street. This three bedroom, 2 bath home sold on June 12, 2012, for $261,500. It has 1,320 sq. ft. Permits were issued on June 29 for the “Interior renovation all levels: 1st floor: Relocated bath room and kitchen, add lighting, modify joists, replace windows. 2nd floor: relocated bath room, add beth room, add lighting, replace windows. basement: add bath room, relocate, remove walls. Add lighting.” A good benchmark for this property is 453 Lamont Street, which was fully renovated and placed on the market in September of last year for $424,900. In that property, they finished the basement and it sold in December 2011 for $419,000.
  2. 434 Luray Place

    The next property to watch is 434 Luray Place. The property has been empty since November 2010 when a fire sent the owner to the hospital and left the house in need of major repair. I have not been able to find any recent sales information on this three bedroom, one bath property … so its possible that it is getting fixed up for a member of the family. Based on the permit issued on June 22, 2012, the renovations are extensive. They read as follows: “Interior Renovation-framing, drywall, doors, trim, paint, cabinet, appliances, flooring, upgrade fixtures electrical, plumbing, mechanical”
  3. 624 Princeton Place

    624 Princeton Place sold on April 5, 2012, for $349,900. It was built as a three bedroom, one bath house in 1920. It was last listed as having 1,920 sq. ft. of living space. Permits were issued on June 15 and July 6 for the following work: “Interior demolition of non-bearing elements in a space up to 5,000 square feet (464.5 square meters). Add new bedroom, full bathroom, and utility closet in basement. Reconfigure kitchen layout on first floor. Add new half bathroom on first floor. Add new master bathroom on second floor. Add new w/d closet on second floor. Install new duct work.”
  4. 622 Rock Creek Church Rd.

    Last but not least is 622 Rock Creek Church Road. It was built in 1911 as a three-story five bedroom, three bath house. It has 2,034 sq. ft. of living space and an unfinished basement. It sold on April 20, 2012, for $460,000. Several permits have been issued since April 11th. While the first ones were for “Interior demo: remove drywall and plaster. Clean all debris. non-load bearing wall,” it is clear in reading later permits and in watching the crew work on the property that the house is being converted into two living units. The basement was dug out and it along with the first floor will be one unit. The top two floors will be the other unit. I’ve been told both will contain two bedrooms.


Is 469 Luray Place A Sign of Things to Come

April 25, 2012

Now that 469 Luray Place, NW, is done and having open houses, I thought I would revisit this property and its implications for the neighborhood. Readers will recall that over a year ago the property sold for $251,990 — a price that was just too good to be true for a local developer. The original single family home part of the development is currently on the market for $567,720. Also interesting is a claim that the property may have been purchased fraudulently.

What is sad to me is that despite involving DCRA early in the process and expressing many concerns about lot coverage and how the new structure was being over built — ultimately DCRA sided with the developer and ruled that the entire project was by right and within the rules and regs. The reason being that in an R-4 Zone a building or structure being converted to an apartment building is allowed the “Greater of 60% or the lot occupancy as of the date of conversion.” A Row dwelling, flat, church, or public school in an R-4 Zone is only allowed to cover 60% of the lot. 469 Luray was purported to be converted to a multiple family dwelling.

Now, after visiting the property and talking to the realtor, I have a better sense of how developers swoop in, diminish the character of the neighborhood, get around DCRA, and make a lot of money while leaving a hot mess in the community.

According to the developer’s representative at the open house, they now intend to subdivide the lot into two separate properties — one with the original single family home and one with the new structure as a two-unit condo. Not so bad you say, well consider this. Had the lot been split prior to construction, there most likely would not have been enough land to legally build what was actually constructed (hence building first, dividing later). The implications are huge. Park View has a few key corner lots like this which could be similarly developed leaving uninteresting towering eyesores at the end of several rows dotted throughout the neighborhood.

While not everyone seems to agree that such development is bad for the community — I for one think it is a real eye opener. With little to no protection outside of historic districts — which Park View does not have — the residential section of the neighborhood is vulnerable to unsympathetic pop ups, additions, and tear downs and replacements.


iHip Hop Building For Sale

April 10, 2012

3223 Georgia Avenue went on the market this week for $550,000

With the high-profile Heights and Avenue projects underway on lower Georgia Avenue it’s often easy to miss some of the smaller potential changes that are taking place. One such location is 3223 Georgia Avenue, better known as the former iHip Hop.

Over the weekend I noticed that real estate signs have been placed in its windows. While the property isn’t showing up on all real estate Websites — there is some confusion as to whether it is an active or expired listing — according to the Long & Foster Website the 1,420 sq. ft. building is currently on the market for $550,000.

According to the DC Real Property Tax database, the property has been owned by the Independence Federal Savings Bank since December 2008.


469 Luray Place — Was the Property Purchased Fraudulently?

January 11, 2012

469 Luray Place, January 2012

The last time I showed the progress of 469 Luray Place was back on September 26, 2011. It’s clear that at this point — with DCRA ruling that everything is in order and that the project has been built by-right — that this blight is here to stay.

Sadly, a commenter on the September 26 post provides more background. The most important information they shared was this — they attempted to buy the house with the goal of fixing it up and living in it but were UNDER-BID by the developer with a cash deal.

Following is what the potential homeowner posted yesterday:

My wife and I LOVED this house and tried to purchase it but were beat out by “another owner occupant” who offered less money, but was an all cash buyer.

Here are the remarks from the MLS when the house was listed in 10/2010:

“Corner lot on a favored street in Columbia Heights., In need of total updating but check the price;this could be a beauty.0-7 seller will consider no contracts,7-12 seller will consider non-profit and owner occ.,13+ days seller will consider all contracts. Contracts must include financial info. sheet plus lender’s pre approval from Wells Fargo or affiliates, cash offers must include cash verificat”

Basically in the first 12 days only offers from owner occupants were to be considered. The house was under contract within 9 days and we were duped by a purchaser that committed fraud. I’m now looking into making things difficult for Olusola A Sulekoiki if I can. if anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it. BTW I am a Realtor so I’m starting by reaching out to my Realtor resources.

Based on the information above, has anyone experienced a similar situation or have any advice?


Another Vacant Building Changes Hands — 756 Park Road Auctioned Off

November 16, 2011

756 Park Road, NW

For those that don’t walk down the 700 block of Park Road that often, here’s some promising development news. 756 Park Road was up for public auction on November 10th along with 10 other District properties. While it was not on the most recent Vacant and Blighted list, it certainly looks to me like it should have been.

More importantly, it could indicate the eventual rehabilitation/redevelopment of the site. Next door, 754 Park Road also shows signs of renovation. While most people think of shiny new buildings on Georgia Avenue as the primary opportunity to provide additional housing in the community, I contend that there is room for an additional 3,500 residents in Park View just by fixing up the vacant apartment buildings and houses that are currently here.

The neighborhood was largely built out by 1940 and had a population of 8,367 in 1950. It currently has a population of roughly 4,913, or about 3,454 shy of its Census high. With the exception of Park Morton which actually added capacity to the area, the vast majority of the residential housing stock has remained unchanged.

Because of this, as existing housing comes back on-line and new development is added to Georgia Avenue, I expect that in the next decade Park View could approach density levels not seen sixty years.


Area Real Estate: 453 Lamont Street NW

September 13, 2011

453 Lamont Street NW

Newly renovated properties continue to become available and 453 Lamont Street does not look like it will be the last one this season. One block to the west, 512 Lamont Street currently has a coming soon sign indicating that it will be on the market shortly.

I was really curious about this house, however, since a short time ago it was a bit rough and tumble and in desperate need of some care. On the outside, I immediately liked two things:

  1. They did not paint the brick. I know a lot of people tend to like painted brick, but the brick in this case is in good shape and I don’t know why anyone would want to start a seven-year maintenance cycle needlessly.
  2. The renovation returned the  front porch to the house. All of the houses on this side of the street originally had them but most are now gone. I think the porch adds a lot to the facade.

Upon entering the house I was very impressed. The house was open and had a decent floor plan. The original wood trim was saved on the windows and upstairs newel post while the hardwood floors were completely new. The basement also had more headroom than many finished basements I’ve been in.

The house is on the market for $424,900. While the listing doesn’t provide the square footage, after looking at the DC Real Property Database it looks like it could be around 1,980 sq. ft. on three levels — including 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. You can see the full listing here, or a virtual tour here.


Vacant and Blighted Properties List Soars in 2011

September 7, 2011

732 Lamont is listed as a pending blighted property, which it has been for years. However, recent renovations and improvement have clearly improved the property

Last week, the Washington Business Journal reported that District properties designated as either Class 3 (vacant) or Class 4 (blighted) rose dramatically this year. This year’s tax roles show an increase of 671 properties on the vacant list, up to 1,115 properties from the 444 Class 3 properties listed during the first half of this year. Class 3 properties are taxed at $5 per $100 of assessed value.

An additional 243 properties are listed as blighted (including properties being appealed or pending the status) and will be taxed at the Class 4 rate or $10 per $100 of assess value. The full DCRA list of vacant, exempt, and blighted properties can be found here.

Below is a map of where the vacant (green), blighted (red), or vacant and blighted (purple) properties are in the Park View neighborhood.

While it’s nice to know where our local vacant and blighted properties are, it is also useful to know how our neighborhood compares to the rest of Ward 1 and how Ward 1 compares to the rest of the city.

430 Manor Place, NW. Listed as vacant since 2006. Finally listed as blighted in 2011.

Here’s the good news — Ward 1 doesn’t seem to be too bad off compared to the rest of the District, having 73 (9%) of the listed vacant property and 47 (10%) of the listed blighted properties.

Here’s the bad news — Within Ward 1, the Park View neighborhood has 24 (33%) of the listed vacant property and 12 (26%) of the listed blighted properties. While numerically this might seem low, for a relatively small neighborhood within Ward 1 I find these percentages to be alarmingly high.

Yet, the numbers might indicate that District agencies are doing a better job of addressing problem properties than they have in the past. The change in status of 530 Manor Place from vacant to blighted occurred this year after engaging DCRA on issues of rats, unsecured property, and lack of yard maintenance. But then again, other properties such as 610 Newton Place which are equally blighted, do not appear to be on any list as vacant, exempt, or blighted.

610 Newton Place, NW, has been in disrepair for a few years now. Future plans for its development is not known at this time

Graph comparisons showing how the Wards rank against each other are after the jump. (more…)

619 Otis Place Now on the Market, Shows Well

August 10, 2011

619 Otis Place, NW

The Park View real estate market seems to making a strong showing lately. A few weeks back I posted about 3318 Warder Street which is on the market for $569,000 and 715 Newton Place — on the market for $425,000 — has also been reviewed recently. Both strike me as being good renovations.

Now, we can add one more to the list, 619 Otis Place, NW, which has just come on the market for $549,900.  According to the listing brochure, it is a 4 bedroom/3.5 bathroom house that has been completely rehabbed with an open floor plan. The total living space is 2,320 square feet.

You can read the full listing here, and see some a few photographs below.

Kitchen (above) and living dining area (below)


Currently on the Market: 3318 Warder Street Looks Good

July 20, 2011

3318 Warder Street, NW

Over the weekend 3318 Warder Street had an open house, which was the first opportunity I’d had to check out the renovations going on there. I have to say, I was really impressed.

The listing brochure describes the house as a 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath with “gleaming hardwood flooring” and  loads of natural light. I was particularly taken with the kitchen area and the off street parking in back.

The asking price is $569,000 and there is an online virtual tour available here.  Overall I think it’s an attractive house and the neighbors I know along that stretch of Warder are great.


No More Mystery at 469 Luray Place, Developer Intends to Build Additional House

July 18, 2011

469 Luray Place

Those of us who have been watching the development of 469 Luray Place no longer have to wonder about the developers intention. It is now clear that they intend to build another house on the Warder Street side of the property.

Late last week additional water was brought to the property and a look at the drawings shows a “proposed” house at 469A Luray Place.

This detail from one of the permit shows a proposed 469A Luray Place being built on the site


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