Posted tagged ‘Real Estate’

430 Manor Place Really Bringing the Community Down

June 8, 2011

430 Manor Place, NW. Listed as vacant since 2006

As I walked around the community over the past week, I noticed a fair number of homes that hadn’t cut their lawns in a while. As of April 21st, grass is not to exceed 10 inches in height. Failure to maintain one’s lawn can result in a fine of $500.

Of course, this presumes that the house is occupied and that there is someone to fine. While I feel fortunate that Park View doesn’t have too many of these, there is the added problem of vacant properties, such as the one at 430 Manor Place.

Overall, Manor Place is generally well maintained and there are many attractive properties there. I think it’s safe to say that 430 isn’t one of them. In reporting the property for the overgrown yard I was able to learn the following about the property.

Some of the many well maintained homes on Manor Place, NW

According to DCRA, the property has been vacant since at least 2006.  It has also been taxed accordingly, with the exception of FY2010 and the first half of FY2011 where it should have been classified as blighted (DCRA is currently working to reclassify the property correctly). Sadly, the property owner according to the DC Real Property database lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and no taxes have been collected on the property in over 6 years. It’s also  been sold at tax sale on three different occasions.

The current tax liability on the property (all vacant taxes included) is $315,355.02 which is well over the 2011 assessed value of $272,090 (it goes down to $236,150 in 2012).

This all makes me wonder how this property is going to be returned to active use. It seems unlikely that someone is going to buy it for more than it’s worth. The city has stepped in and included it on tax sales but that clearly hasn’t worked. An auction could work, but here again the District isn’t likely to get every penny it’s owed. Is anyone familiar with a similar problem that eventually got a new owner and was successfully brought back to active use?


Luray Place Renovation Takes Interesting Turn

May 18, 2011

This is one house remodeling project that really has me stumped. 469 Luray Place sold in November 2010 for $251,990. Admittedly, it needed some work to bring it back … but when I last looked at it I really couldn’t figure out the rational behind the direction it is going.

The most recent direction the house has gone was to have the two bay windows along Warder Street removed. I’ll have to keep an eye on this to see if this means that the house will have an addition or actually be decreased in size.

According to the permits on the front it still looks like the house is intended to be a single family home with a rental in the basement. I think this is good. On the other hand, I think it’s sad, but not unexpected, that the debris pile in the back yard contains the original hardwood pocket doors, newel post, and stair railing.

As part of the modernization process the bay windows have been removed from 469 Luray Place, NW


Real Estate Heating Up in Southern Park View

March 22, 2011

539 Irving Street, NW

Over the weekend there were several open houses in the southern part of the neighborhood. Based on the asking prices, the real estate market looks like 2011 is going to be a strong year. The prices of the three properties ranged from $449,000 to $535,900.

The first property, and the most expensive, was at 539 Irving Street, NW. At 1,824 square feet this house was arguably the largest and had three bedrooms and three full bathrooms. It also contained a mix of renovated features and original details. You can get more details and see a virtual tour of the property here>>

Living room at 436 Kenyon Street. A beautiful and welcoming space.

At the other end of the scale was a home at 436 Kenyon Street, NW. Its asking price is $449,000. At 1,600 sq. ft. it was definitely smaller, but was clearly the recipient of a loving homeowner. The thing that stood out the most at this property was the woodwork. The pine floors were gorgeous. Again, much of the original detail has been retained and I found the space to be both comfortable and inviting. You can get more information and see a virtual tour of this house by going here>>

The master bedroom at 413 Hobart Street has a small private balcony in addition to a private bath ... occupying the entire upper floor.

The house located at 413 Hobart Street was the most unusual … or should I say the most surprising upon entry and has an asking price of $479,000. It had been completely gutted and renovated. Unlike the other two the home featured an open plan and contained absolutely nothing that was original to the house. Still, it was done tastefully and kept a traditional feel throughout the space.

The two most surprising features were the master suite and the bathrooms throughout the home. Outside of the half bath on the first level and the full bathroom in the finished basement, each of the bedrooms had their own private bathroom.

The master suite was also more than expected. Occupying the entire third floor in the former attic space, it also had ample closets and its own private outdoor space in the rear of the building. The property also has a beautiful view of both Howard University and the McMillan Reservoir directly in front of it. For more details and a virtual tour, you can go here>>

I’d have to say that one of the nicest features of these three houses is that they were all move in ready. That is not something that can be said for all that go on the market in this area.


Single Family Park View Home Available to Rent for $2,100/mo.

December 20, 2010

436 Manor Place

The following rental opportunity was brought to my attention over the weekend. The price seems reasonable and I’ve always found Manor Place to be a pleasant street. I would be interested in hearing more from people who are either currently looking for rental property or living on Manor for their opinions.

A blurb from the Web announcement, which has more information and photos, is below:

Welcome to 436 Manor Place where you can enjoy city living with a private life! This fabulous 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home is located in a quiet section of the city known as Park View. Enjoy a convenient location just minutes from Capitol Hill, Downtown D.C., the Washington Hospital Center, Catholic University, Children’s Hospital, and other major employers. A short walk to the Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro and steps away from great shopping and restaurants in Columbia Heights. A must see!


Newton Street Homes, 1911

September 24, 2010

Here’s an interesting real estate ad for houses on Newton Street just east of Warder.

From Washington Herald, November 11, 1911

I’m particularly appreciative of the Soldiers’ Home lakes being included on an equal footing with the home’s interior as selling features for these houses.


Development at 527 Irving Street

July 30, 2010

527 Irving Street as it currently appears

527 Irving Street has been one of those odd properties where you notice something is off, but have more questions than answers.

Currently, the site has been cleared and a new foundation is being laid. Literally a year ago the word on the street was that the owner was intending to erect a new building that was one or more units. That day has come.

The road taken to get to today, however, is a bit odd. For about a year prior to this current building phase, the property had a one room structure on it that didn’t do anything. It wasn’t a home and it certainly wasn’t considered to be a permanent structure even at the time of construction.

This odd one room structure was located at 527 Irving for about a year, between the summers of 2009 and 2010

One of the most regrettable aspects of the property is that the facade of the original home was not saved, even though it appeared that this was the goal of the project at one time.

Maybe the structure became unstable over time. Its hard to tell. But for several years, and dating to well before 2007, the original facade was propped up with beams to keep it in place while the rest of the house was essentially missing.

Though I haven’t dug into the building permits to identify the builder and original date of construction, it was clearly one of the area’s earlier homes based on its wood frame construction.

You can see what it looked like shortly before its demise below.

This relic was one all that remained of one of Irving street's earliest homes


Design for 3577 Warder Street Finally Revealed

June 12, 2010

The developers of the property at 3577 Warder Street have finally posted a rendering and details of the project both at the property and online (click image at right to go to their Web site).

As you can quickly see from the banner, the property is planned to contain five 2 bedroom units. They are also advertising that parking will be available.

The parking issue is of particular interest. For parking to be allowed on this property a curb cut will need to be installed. This issue came up before the ANC 1A at their September 2009 meeting and was not endorsed.

The building was designed from the start to support a driveway and parking

My conversations with DDOT have similarly affirmed that a curb cut would have a hard time getting approved for this location. DDOT considers curb cuts as mini-intersections and for this one to be installed a street light would need to be relocated. Still, without this approval, the builder has forged ahead with a plan designed to support a driveway.

It’s also important to note that the single family home that was once on the site was razed without a permit. Once construction began, a stop work order was issued in February, 2010, for failure to get permits or have inspections. Based on past practices, it seems reasonable to be concerned that a curb cut could similarly appear without going through the proper process.

On a more general note, is this design compatible with residential Park View? Its located directly across from the historic Park View school and between the only other “contemporary” structures off of Georgia Avenue.


Park View Realty Market Rebounding?

June 8, 2010

625 Princeton Place

The realty market in Park View appears to be showing signs that it is rebounding from the recent market correction of the past few years. One indicator is the number of open houses available. Last year, while it was easy to find an open house in Petworth or Columbia Heights, there were relatively few in Park View. This past weekend, there were two in the neighborhood that I was aware of … and these were not the only two properties on the market.

The recently rehabbed and listed property at 625 Princeton Place is going to be one to watch. Its listed at $649,000 — a price we haven’t seen in the area for a while. If the Realtor is to be believed, he also indicated that there is interest in the property after only a few weeks on the market.

The property does have a lot going for it. Among its assets are off street parking, central air, a legal rental in the basement, and its proximity to Metro. Coupled with a fresh open plan interior, all a new homeowner needs to do is move in and live (You can see interior images here>>).

There were a couple of other interesting comments I learned from my visit to Princeton Place. The first was that the agent claimed the same property would be about $100,000 less in Petworth. The second was that there are one or two other properties on the 700 block of Princeton Place that the developer is also working on and would be marketed in the mid- to upper $500,000 range (separate rent-able basement not being planned).

3306 Park Place

Another property that was open last weekend was 3306 Park Place, listed at $479,000. While it’s priced significant less that the property on Princeton Place, I think that can be explained easily enough since its seven blocks further from Metro, does not have off street parking, does not have a rent-able basement, and has three bedrooms rather than four. Still, it does have two amenities that the home on Park Place will never have. It looks out upon the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home and it has an oasis of a back yard that is private.

While these two homes indicate some of the properties currently on the market, it will only be in the fall that we truly know if the market has not only stabilized, but has started to grow.


Then and Now: 634-636-638-640 Irving Street, NW

May 7, 2010

634-636-638-640 Irving Street (1910)636 Irving Street, NW (2010)

(Historic image from the Washington Times, May 7, 1910)

The homes on the south side of Irving Street from 634 to 640 were designed by architect William J. Palmer for builder Edward J. Turton in 1910. When completed, each home sold for $3,750. A period ad is below.


Homes on Hobart Place

March 30, 2010

Houses on the 400 block of Hobart Place

These modest homes along Park View’s southern border date to 1910. While they aren’t very deep, they do have one asset that few other homes in the District can boast — a view of the McMillan reservoir from their front porches.

To get an idea of what these homes were like new, I was able to find the following ad from the October 15, 1910, Washington Times that includes a lot of interior images as well as a description of the homes.


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