Friday, June 13, 2008

UPDATE: real estate correction

there is a house across the street from me that's been on the market forever for over $500,000 (i think it was most recently listed at about $565,000). the problem with this house (which you can see next door to the corner house in the photograph here) is that it's vacant and in need of tons of work. the owners must have thought that it was still 2004 and they could get people to pay more than twice what a house is actually worth.

well, looks like they finally came to their senses. i noticed a new "for sale" sign in the front yard today, and a lot of people pulled up in their cars with virginia plates to take a look. you see, the house (at 1817 1st St. NW) has been relisted at the more reasonable price of $239,900. i guess a lot of people would be interested in a 6-bedroom house for under a quarter million, don't you think?

UPDATE: turns out that, looking at the old and new listings for the house, they formerly listed the neighborhood as ledroit park, and now it says eckington. still haven't figured out that they're in the heart of bloomingdale, but i could scream 'til i'm blue in the face to get some people to realize that. plus, it was listed with 2.5 baths, and now just one. either way, it still is a shell.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

In looking at Redfin listings and the pending sales from Scott's newsletter, it's pretty apparent that prices have dropped more rapidly in Bloomingdale/Eckington than in spots further west. I don't know how to interpret this... should I feel dissed because nobody wants to live here? or happy because we are again the most affordable close-in neighborhood?

Anonymous said...

I feel dissed. I bought in Eckington and wish I bought in CH or Petworth. This area just sucks to high heaven.

Anonymous said...

Huh... I actually find the quality of life pretty good in Bloomingdale. Not too much crime, easy parking, big yards. Its a hike to the metro, and I wish someone would open A SINGLE RESTAURANT, but other than that I don't have complaints. But it is a little worrisome to see my biggest investment losing value by the hour...

- Anonymous 1

JohnW said...

I agree with the last poster. I like my neighborhood. Windows Cafe will get me by food wise until the Pizza place, deli and five guys opens in a few months. Followed by the firehouse restaurant early next year.

I recently bought in the neighborhood not for what it is but what it will become. While I wouldn't want to live in what they're calling NOMA I will love to be able to walk to it's stores.

Anonymous said...

now that the price's reasonable, how about you drop the "for now" from your handle?

IMGoph said...

sure, the price of that house is more reasonable, but it's not livable. i wouldn't be able to get a loan for the house myself in this market.

Anonymous said...

From a long time resident -- more than 15 yearss -- be patient on your housing values. I bought my house when Marion Barry was Mayor, for $125 k and the market dropped even more! I could have gotten it for $115 or $110... No movement for years, then the prices shot up. Now there is another downturn.

Over time, housing values in the city always rebound, people go nuts and the market goes crazy, and then it corrects.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed the bullet holes in the green trim of the "heller's bakery" building on 1st & T?

Bullet holes in buildings tend to keep values down, too. I found a bullet (just the projectile, not the shell or cartridge) in my backyard near Randolph Pl NW recently.

Anonymous said...

The first issue with this house is that you can't just get a regular loan. For a house in this condition, you will need to get a rehab loan or construction loan. Both are a different ballgame and you will need contractor quotes (at least for the rehab loan)

Second, the house has an OK facade, but go around the back. There is no yard and it's sort of stuck in the corner. The lot for this house is really small. Not to mention there is no parking in the back anywhere, just on the street.

Anonymous said...

I still think that a neighborhood that lacks conveinent metro access, basic neighborhood amenties (that you would expect for the premium you pay to live in an urban area), and rampant crime that the value for a run down home should be in the $100Ks or less range. Oh, and don't get me started about living near the projects. Plus, the Bloomingdale and Eckington are very sketchy places and you will be living here for at least a decade before you see noticeable change. If you don't mind waiting that long then good for you. But the way I see it is that I'm not getting any younger.

IMGoph said...

can you anonymous folks start signing a name, at least. it would make it easier to hold conversations here.

"the bloomingdale"? wow, i didn't realize we had gained a modifier in the neighborhood name. pretty interesting. anyway, i understand what you're saying about the price of abandonded homes being high, but calling bloomingdale "very sketchy" leads me to believe that you're not very familiar with this part of town. bloomingdale is, in my experience, safer than areas in shaw and even logan circle.

sure, we don't have all the amenities (yet), but a 6 block walk to the metro won't kill you (ride the g8 for a few blocks if it's that difficult for you). and i'll wager anything that we'll see more significant change in a shorter time frame than a full decade here.

Anonymous said...

I think a decade is reasonable. The development in NoMa is going to take that long to build out and Susum Corda is still a project haven. Don't get me wrong, I think Bloomingdale is pretty neighborhood and Big Bear is super busy on the weekends (I go every weekend) but the price of an old dilapidated home that needs about 100K in renovations to make it livable are ridiculous. Lets face it, this neighborhood sit directly on North Capitol St. And NC St lacks downtown vibrancy (all the office buildings on NC lack retail space). We have nothing to capitalize on here. Logan is directly north of Gallery Place and Metro Center and south of U St and west of Dupont Circle. Honestly, we just don’t have the best location. And in this market, location is everything.

IMGoph said...

anonymouse: like i said, a name or some personal identifier, please. it's hard keeping all you wallflowers separate.

you're focusing on north capitol, and i tend to focus on first street as the heart of bloomingdale. i think that, with one sucessful restaurant at the corner of first and seaton, the long-promised hellers at 1st and t, and something (anything) moving into the vacant one-story shop on the northeast corner of 1st and seaton, which could all happen pretty quickly, you'd see some rapid vibrancy appear in the neighborhood, on a time scale much shorter than your predicted decade.

hipchickindc said...

Technically, 1817 1st is in the legal subdivision of Eckington, although folks in the 'hood do refer to it predominantly as Bloomingdale. Since B'dale is not a legal subdivision, more real estate agents will search or know "Eckington". I always put "Bloomingdale" in the advertised subdivision field.

I talked to the listing agent this morning and there are 7 offers in on this property. Assuming that half of them are crappy, I'm betting someone is going to pay over that list price. Yes, it will still be low, but, hey, we are seeing another renovation BOOM in Bloomingdale.

Renovation essentially came to a halt for a year or two because acquisition prices of shells got ridiculous. Now people are buying shells again, renovating them, and guess what...More renovated houses and owner occupants living in them will be great for the neighborhood.

IMGoph said...

hipchickindc: thanks for the update on that. it'll be great to see someone actually taking care of that house and returning it (hopefully) to its former glory.

Anonymous said...

I still think 200K for a crappy shell is too much for a neighborhood that lacks urban vibrancy and adequate public transportation access. However, the neighborhood does have potential. I just don't think that property values reflect the true value of some of these homes.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind buying a home that needed work in the 150ish range. Then I could easily pump another 100K into it to make it liveable.

Mr. 14th & You said...

This shows how out of whack things had become a few years back. Not only was someone crazy enough to think that nearly $600k for a shell in a transitioning neighborhood was a realistic price, but there were buyers who did as well.

So, maybe it WAS realistic? Still, as my 8th grade science teacher would say: "That's whack."

Anonymous said...

I think that with prices so high that your effectively pricing out the young professionals needed to support cafes, restaurants, retail and entertainment. Young people are willing to invest in something that needs work but at the point of where we're living in poverty because we're house poor.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I meant not at the point that we're living in poverty

Anonymous said...

My partner and I live just down the road from there (4th and RI NE) and after 1.5 years living in Edgewood we are more than ready to move on.

Looking at a place in Mt. Rainier, close enough to DC and far enough from the trail of dead bodies in our neighborhood.

Nice.

hipchickindc said...

Y'all anonymous commenters are a bit too late. The last time I sold a property in the neighborhood under $200k was in 2001.

A current gut rehab (whole house with basement) is typically costing around $250k just for the the construction and materials. The costs vary depending on the condition of the property and how basic or schmancy it gets, of course.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:27... I can see your predicament. But Edgewood and Bloomingdale are pretty different, even though they are only a mile apart. Mt Rainier seems like a reasonable place though.

Anonymous said...

The only people that will be able to live in these houses are retired old folks. And retired old folks do not a cool/funky/hip neighborhood make.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 4:41:

We used to live 1st & NW and we also lived at 4th & S NW and they were all very different atmospheres, so you're right, I imagine that its a bit different.

But the entire 5th ward is awful right now, no matter what neighborhood (it seems like anyway). I grew up in the SUPA suburbs (Columbia, MD) so having murders in my neighborhood is totally new to me and freaking me out.

Mt. Rainier is very, very nice and more importantly, affordable. :)

hipchickindc said...

Could the anonymous people maybe give themselves nicknames or letters or something?

I don't understand why only old, retired folks are going to be able to live here? The sales in the neighborhood are quite active so people are buying them. Not only are people buying them, but, as I said upthread, there is a new surge in renovation activity that we haven't seen here in three years.

Eckington Gangsta said...

I really like Eckington and Bloomingdale but I currently live in a condo that I bought in April 2006. I was hoping to live in it for 2 or 3 years and then buy a house in the neighborhood. I guess that isn't happening because the houses here are in such disrepair and they are extremely overpiced for something that's falling apart. I'm considering Wheaton instead. I can buy a cute capecod near the metro and there's plenty of shopping and restaurant options near by.

IMGoph said...

yeah, as hipchick says, you anonymous people have to give some kind of nickname. you're making it impossible to follow the flow of the conversation here, when we're trying to reply to one or another of you.

Tired of the Banana Republic said...

Crime, lack of retail and restaurants, and inconvenient metro access makes this area miserable all year round. I live on the Eckington side and I have had my car broken into (nothing stolen but why break into a car with nothing in it?), friends walking from the metro and getting mugged at gunpoint, called cracker faggot too many times by too many welfare brats and their parents, and trash in my yard on my street. I've seen women throw garbage bags into alleys from their windows. And how do these "amenities" make crappy homes appreciate into the 300K+ range??? I'm not sure but that's why I'm looking into CH or Mt. Pleasant or even Silver Spring.

IMGoph said...

tired: i am guessing that people are pre-selected to complain about things they don't like, and those people who are happy with the neighborhood are probably less likely to come out in blog comments and say, "hey, this place is great, i love it just fine", but i must say i'm surprised.

there are a lot of people, apparently, who really just flat-out hate bloomingdale, eckington, and the surrounding area. i must ask, when did you move here, and what were your expectations. you knew that you wouldn't be right on top of a metro station, so why do you complain about "inconvenient metro access"? that, more than anything else, seems to me like something where i can honestly say "tough", since it was clear that the brown line isn't happening anytime soon...

v st crew said...

I generally like the neighborhood (Eckington and Bloomingdale) but at night it changes. Kids hanging out on corners (where are their parents and don't they go to school?), open air drug markets about every other block and alley, and now that the market has gone bust the change has slowed down. Potential buyers see the crime and the cost of living here as road blocks. I can't blame them. NoMa is growing at a slower pace when compared with the ball park area and Sursum Corda isn't that far away. There are some bright spots but the cost of a home should reflect that it is a transitioning neighborhood.

IMGoph said...

v street crew: i hear your concerns, though i would say that, at least on my block, any drug dealing and loitering that there might have been in the past has certainly cleared up in the two years i have been here.

what market are you talking about "going bust"? certainly not the farmer's market—they appeared to be doing good business there this last sunday.

v st crew said...

I'm sorry, I meant the real estate bust. I know you can't read my mind. It's not that bad in DC but people in our neighborhood have been having a hard time selling their homes or condos.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is a little surprising to see all the hating for the neighborhood on this board. I suspect that part of it reflects a "new breed" of newcomer over the last couple of years. With the improvement in the quality of life come people who expect the neighborhood to be Georgetown East. It obviously isn't, so they move along to somewhere else.
-W St Guy

hipchickindc said...

It's funny, because part of what I love about the neighborhood is NOT having Starbucks or Caribou. I'd much rather have a group of small independent businesses. I can easily get to downtown/restaurants/shopping etc. I walk to work downtown. If I want to take Metro, it's a short 10 minute walk. I could go on and on about my Bloomingdale love, but frankly, you either get it or you don't.

v st crew said...

I used to get it when I first bought here. It was convenient to my job at the Smithsonian. I took the P6 and would only take 15 minutes to get to work. Now I work at the Census in Suitland. My commute is now 45 minutes by bus then metro's greenline. Eckington/Bloomingdale is no longer doable for me.

hipchickindc said...

Um. Not to beat a dead horse, but just thought I'd mention that there are 11 offers in on this house now.

Anonymous said...

It just cracks me up that someone thinks that a three story house (STAIRS) is going to attact old folks (STAIRS). The olds like themselves one-levels so they can shuffle round pain-free.

That said, ideally, to make our nabe work, we should be the go-to place for young (and not-so-young) folks in non-profits, teachers, etc who will root themselve sin the hood, fix up their reasonably-priced houses and eventually attact the eateries, bars etc we want. /md