Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fun With Redfin- Affordable Housing

Okay, I want a house 2 blocks from the metro, with more than 1,500 square feet, a nice sized southern facing backyard, decent front yard, quiet, near a good restaurant/coffee shop, with parking, in northwest, in move in condition for about $200,000.

You can stop laughing now.

I'm about 4-4.5 blocks from the metro, small yards, no parking, quiet??? depends, under 1,500 even counting the cellar, in NW, and close enough to Big Bear. However, I would have to be either mentally insane or desperate for a quick sale to even consider selling my lovely home for anything in the $200K range.

So with that in mind let's head over to Redfin to see what's selling around the hood for less than $200K and $300K. In the general Shaw area, you can get a parking space for something in the $30K range, a foreclosed condo for $165K, and a short sale condo for $159K in the same building. Over in Mt. Vernon Square there is still 481 Ridge Street NW on the market for $199,900. Yes, it will require a lot of work, but come on, it's two blocks from the metro, a couple of blocks from the Safeway. What's not to love?
There are two actual 'affordable housing' co-op units available up near U Street. The listing reads as, "PURCHASER MUST BE APPROVED BY COOP AND MAKE LESS THAN $48,800.00 For Single Buyer and $51,200.00 for two buyers." However the monthly co-op fee, and explains why co-ops are so cheap, is $1,045.
When you bump up the search to include places $300K or less there are more choices than the odd foreclosure and short sale. More foreclosures and short sales. There is a short sale in the Rhapsody, a foreclosure on 6th St, on and 5th St in that weird funky looking townhouse with the thing in front. There are some regular places that either need lotsa work, or some work, or are 1 bedroom condos (see here, here and here). I dunno what category to put 36 Q NW, a 4 bedroom condo @ $295K that's been on the market for 585 days. What's wrong with it?



At 10/08/2009 3:10 PM, Blogger Petworthy said...

4 bedroom condo on Q is a basement unit. I wouldn't pay $295K for something that's even partially underground.

At 10/08/2009 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to an open house at that condo. It's two levels -- one is basement and one is on the first floor. The first floor level is lovely and huge-- you essentially get a big one bedroom apartment with three big guest/craft/storage rooms and an extra bathroom below.

i think it hasn't sold because everyone assumes it's a basement because it's marked as a B Unit. And it was ridiculously overpriced for months. The kitchen is a little bit small but in general, it's in really good shape. I'd sure live there.

Although it's relatively close to NY Ave metro, the proxiomity to the ugly intersection of Flordia N. Cap can't help. And it doesn't come with parking, which was the deal-breaker for the person I saw it with.

Still, if someone gets it for $10 grand less, they've snagged one of the great secret bargains of DC real estate. Especially when that huge dilapidated building next door --that's been sold to a developer-- is done.


At 10/09/2009 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything you've mentioned is dragging down property values for everyone.

Not to mention, major price declines outside the city may lure buyers away from DC.

Granted, there will always be a subset of home buyers who want to live in an old urban rowhouse, even if there is lots of crime and relatively few amenities.

But will the demand from those buyers counteract the negative effect of foreclosures, short sales, and a big supply of fixer-uppers that will take a decade to work through? (think of all the homes in the neighborhood that need substantial work before they can sell for $310K+)

My opinion is that we're looking at another decade before this part of the city is regarded as 'desirable' to anything other than old-house aficionados, hipsters, and students. (not that there is anything wrong with that)


At 10/09/2009 12:03 PM, Blogger Mari said...

stoma I'm taking a glass half full view of things. Crime was worse on my block at the top of the market when these houses were selling at about 30% more. People were still buying. LUCKILY, the market is more suitable for people looking at the hood with the long view in mind, not flippers and speculators. For the flipper who is looking at the $290K house that needs $150K worth of work that might sell between $400-450K, this is a bad deal. Good! The wham bam thank you ma'am developers have done as much damage as good to the hood. What we need are neighbors, who intend to make connections, improve the community, become advocates, supporters of transformative neighborhood businesses and efforts, and that's the kind of person who would buy that fixer upper.
Other positives to fixer uppers with the vision of staying for the long term (over 5 years) is you can TRULY customize the house for your needs. My house fits me and is arranged to my wants and needs and not someone else's vision. They also make housing affordable to people armed with more energy and talent than money. When I moved in there were several fixer uppers that were affordable to non-profit types and others in professions that don't bring in the big bucks.
Keep in mind those desirable mature parts of DC are unaffordable, and more homogeneous/less diverse. RE dips like this maintain the diversity.


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