New Condos Coming to 14th Street
March 9, 2010 by jessebkaye
By the fourth quarter of this year, the entire stretch of 14th Street will give rise to JBG’s project, which will primarily offer studios and one-bedroom units. JBG has already acquired the south end of the 1800 block of 14th Street NW when developer Scott Pannick backed out of the deal in 2008, leaving JBG to pay $11 million for the area.
The project seems to be a viable solution for DC’s condo shortage. There’s less than a year’s supply of new units in the Shaw/Columbia Heights submarket, which includes the 14th Street corridor, compared with the listing of 1.8 years citywide according to a 2009 year-end report from Delta Associates, a real estate research company.
JBG sounds optimistic in terms of financing the project. The Washington Business Journal reports: “… JBG officials say they have talked with several financing brokers eager to get back to business. ‘There is certainly interest in this market,’ said Kai Reynolds, executive development officer at Chevy Chase-based JBG.”
After several plan revisions, JBG already had an approval for the project from the Historic Preservation Review Board in February last year. Since it announced the project, JBG has been touting amenities such as plunge pool, bar and grilling area for buyers who would consider entertaining guests at home before heading out to neighborhood hot spots.
SELLERS: An approval letter doesn’t mean the buyers approved
March 3, 2010 by jessebkaye
TIPS TO IDENTIFY A WEAK APPROVAL LETTER
Start at the top and work your way down…
1)Is there a company logo? Yes or no. If there’s no logo it can indicate a small company or a one-man broker shop. It’s not necessarily bad but a layer of potential risk.
2) Is the company something you have heard of? Ask around in the office. Or you can call me, your broker or another agent. Someone in the office may have had a great experience or a bad one.
3) When was the last letter written? Do not accept a letter older than 30 days.
4) What is the rate? If you know the going rate is 6% and they show a 7% rate, be concerned.
5) Make sure your offer and letter match. If your letter was approved for 10% down but they write the contract 5% down, be concerned.
6) Make sure the letter identifies specific terms, rate, term, loan amount and sales price.
7) Does the letter indicate whether credit has been pulled? It SHOULD! And it should be a ti-merge report.
8) Does the letter indicate what outstanding conditions are existing? Verification of employment, assets, and income means the lender still has work to do.
9) DO NOT PUSH ZERO DAYS FOR FINANCING. THIS IS THE REASON THERE HAVE BEEN SO MANY DELATS FOR SETTLEMENT. One-third of the days is reasonable to ask for a commitment letter. Give the days, let the loan be underwritten, then follow up for the COMMITMENT LETTER.
In essence, pre-approved letters are not worth the paper they are written on. We have all seen approval letters that shock. With an enormous amount of unqualified lenders out there scrambling to stay in the business (because the refi market is gone) they will come knocking on our doors. The letter is only a good as the person/company who writes it.
This is all assuming that the borrower does not switch lenders after ratifying…
$9.5 Million in Recovery Act Grants Released to Stabilize DC Neighborhoods
March 2, 2010 by jessebkaye
The District of Columbia will be receiving a $9.5 million grant from the US Housing and Urban Development to boost the housing market, create more job opportunities, and stimulate growth in neighborhoods affected by high rates of foreclosure and vacancy.
Thanks to the collaborative work of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, three neighborhoods will largely benefit from he plan: Deanwood, Anacostia and Trinidad/Ivy City.
These departments are targeting single-family and multi-family redevelopment and preservation, which are much needed measures in those three areas previously mentioned.
Deanwood is one of the oldest neighborhood in northeast DC. It’s a relatively low density neighborhood with many of its homes built by well-known African-American architects. It also includes early communities historically known as Whittingman, Lincoln Heights, and Burrville.
Anacostia is another historic neighborhood named after Anacostia River. It includes most, if not all, of the Anacostia Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Trinidad is a largely residential area with a more industrial and impoverished north, the Ivy City.
Stabilizing these neighborhoods, according to chief officials, can be by acquiring and selling vacant and foreclosed properties and generating homeownership property.
We are dedicated to creating economic opportunities and stabilizing our neighborhoods,” Mayor Adrian Fenty said. “The additional funning support is essential and will directly- and quickly- reach the Washington neighborhoods and residents that present the greatest need.”
The grant is awarded competitively to local entities including local governments and non-profit developers who “developed the most innovative ideas to rebuild local communities, while demonstrating that they have the capacity to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
photo credit: DC Digital Photography
DDOT’s Two-Year Look To The Future
March 2, 2010 by jessebkaye
The District Department On Transportation or DDOT has just released its 2010 Action Agenda, a two-year plan which lays out DDOT’s defined goals, actions, and policies for the next two years.
At the core of Action Agenda are the following values and functions which it seeks to address and achieve by 2012: safety, sustainability, maintenance and investment in capital assets, identifying prosperous places, and investing in the DDOT workforce.
To sum up the lengthy report prepared by DDOT, HomeTryst gathered Action Agenda’s outlined policies and action for each core values and functions.
(1) Dramatically reduce traffic injuries by at least 10% annually and work toward ZERO fatalities.
(2)Plan and design to equally protect all street users.
(3) Use technology to improve system and enhance safety.
(4) Educate users to respect and protect one another
For Sustainable Living:
(1) Make walking the mode of choice for trips of less than one mile and biking the mode of choice for trips of less than three miles.
(2) Prioritize expansion and enhancement of transit service
(3) Minimize traffic congestion and promote efficient vehicle operations
(4) Encourage development projects that promote and support non-auto mobility.
(5)Minimize the environmental impacts of transportation infrastructure.
(6) Use technology to improve traveler information, choice, and convenience.
For Maintenance and Investment In Capital Asset
(1) Maximize life span of new construction
(2) Ensure on-time and on-budget project delivery
(3) Consistently apply asset data to guide where and when work is done.
(4) Leverage District assets to fund transportation improvements.
(5) Partner with local stakeholders to help protect and preserve assets.
For Identifying Prosperous Places
(1) Build great streetscapes to promote economic vitality.
(2) Target infrastructure investments to strengthen local retail and employment districts
(3) Minimize construction impacts on local businesses and communities.
(4) Make streets fun.
For Investing in the DDOT Workforce
(1) Assemble and support an outstanding agency workforce.
(2) Provide exceptional customer service, responsiveness, and transparency.
(3) Increase the use of performance analysis
(4) Elevate financial stewardship and accountability practices.
photo credit: brianmka
DC Circulator Now Available Through Google Transit
February 23, 2010 by jessebkaye
The DC Circulator now makes it schedule available through Google Transit. By making use of Google Maps, Transit provides D.C. residents and visitors step-by-step transit directions both in the web browser or on the mobile phone. Google Transit will let you find transit stops in your area, search for a restaurant, or view station information and schedules.
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty announced on Feb. 22 that bus trips on the DC Circulator can now be tracked within Google Transit. Simply click on “By public transit” as the sorting option on Google Maps to see Circulator routes.
This may sound good news to D.C. residents and visitors but critics said it will practically be meaningless without the addition of WMATA.
Missing key information continues to be a problem for Google Transit users. A commenter on the Urban Turf post writes:
I tried out Google Transit and it seems to be missing some, um, key information like the metro routes. I tried mapping the best way to get to my office (Union Station) from home (Petworth) and it suggested I walk to the Columbia Heights metro and then take a bus. The suggested route took 10 minutes longer than the same site gave as the walking time!! Needless to say, if it’s this beta, then it’s useless. Plus you can already plan your route (and it works) on http://www.wmata.com so not sure what the value-added is here.
Another commenter in Greater Greater Washington posts:
Oh dear – the Woodley Park-Columbia Heights-McPherson Circulator line doesn’t display properly. It shows the bus veering off course at 14th and P Streets… the bus apparently then drives through several homes and offices on a hypotenuse until it hits McPherson Square at 13th and K; only then does it appear to re-find the road. Yikes!
photo credit: afagen
How to keep a home from selling 101-
February 22, 2010 by jessebkaye
I usually wouldnt post this but I had to just out of sheer disgust. If you ever come across, or list a property please dont write this…
CALLING ALL INVESTORS-FANTASTIC VALUE. PRICE REFLECTS CONDITION AND SOLD “AS-IS”. SELLERS TITLE COMPANY PREFERRED. PLEASE USE CAUTION WHEN SHOWING. DAYLIGHT SHOWINGS ONLY AND BRING FLASHLIGHT. CALL FOR QUESTIONS. SELLER IN PROCESS OF REMOVING TRASH AND DEBRIS FROM HOME, INCLUDING DECEASED DOG IN UPSTAIRS BEDROOM.
Fairfax Planners are Set To Redesign the Image of Tysons Corner
February 19, 2010 by jessebkaye
The draft, dated January 14, 2010, is projecting a better Tysons “in which people are engaged in their surroundings and a place where people want to be.” Planners call for the creation of a community that could include 200,000 jobs and 100,000 residents and a job-housing balance of about 4 jobs per household.
The plan also centers around the restoration or enhancement of public transportation, open spaces and trails and green buildings. The transportation system will especially be redesigned to accommodate circulator routes, community shuttles, and feeder bus service. The design will likely improve bicycle routes and connections as well. Almost half of the recommendations for Tysons will be located within half a mile of the Metro.
Fairfax planners have a detailed draft on how to improve transportation in the area
How to improve transportation. The superblock street network will be transformed into a system of smaller connected streets for an efficient traffic flow.
“Streets should become “complete streets” designed to create a sense of place and promote walking,” the draft reveals.
There will be a Circulator System that allows quick and inexpensive transportation for trips within Tysons. A great addition to that would be the neighborhood feeder bus network that will connect surrounding communities to Tysons.
Plans of constructing at least two new elementary schools are also high on the agenda: one in the North Central district along with the proposed eight to ten acre park and another one in the East Side district. There were even talks of expanding the existing Westgate Elementary School.
New school constructions will benefit the community especially with the additional 890 elementary students by 2050.
The plans may be ambitious but the county is giving itself forty years to implement new strategies. In sum, Fairfax planners outlines their implementation strategy including:
- Detailed planning that links infrastructure provision with development
- Creation of an implementation entity
- Establishment of a funding strategy for public infrastructure
- Revision of the regulatory framework
- Formation of public-private partnerships
New Condo Inventory in DC: Possible Shortage of Units Later This Year
February 17, 2010 by jessebkaye
Real estate sales and marketing firm McWilliams|Ballard reveals the diminishing supply of new condos in D.C. in its recently-released, 34-page report Year End 2009 Washington Metro Area Condominium Market Overview.
The report tallies the remaining number of condo units available in each city and country. Here are the figures for the District:
Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights (183)
Capitol Hill (84)
Dupont Circle/Kalorama (7)
East of the River (131)
Georgetown/West End (67)
Logan Circle/U Street/ LeDroit Park (136)
New York Avenue. Corridor/Northeast (67)
Penn Quarter/ Mt. Vernon Triangle (123)
Petworth/East of Rock Creek (31)
SE & SW Waterfront (494)
Upper Northwest (130)
TOTAL of 1,368 units
This will be the first time for the DC condo inventory to plummet below 6,000 since 2003. The diminishing supply will likely result in a shortage of new units by late 2010. Given the current market conditions, rental projects may even deliver condo or convert already-delivered buildings to rental units.
According to the report, “developers who can deliver smaller, cost-effective, quality conversion product in Northwest DC submarkets in 2011 will have the opportunity to be highly successful.” This might even drive big projects that are still under construction and are yet to deliver until mid-2012 to actually deliver the condo units.
New big condo projects are yet to be delivered at least mid-2012, which opens the opportunity for small projects to fill in the demand. It even seems like another opportunity for individual condo owners to sell their units.
Nine-unit Condo: Habitat for Humanity’s Newest Project in Northern Virginia
February 12, 2010 by jessebkaye
The non-profit developer renowned for building single-family houses through volunteering has completed a nine-unit condominium, its newest project in Northern Virginia.
Families who are to become condominium owners in Madison Ridge are the second batch of “partner families” to benefit from the low-cost housing project, next to families who settled in the 12-unit building in Westbrook Forest, Habitat for Humanity’s first NV project. All 12 units of housing were part of a 50-year-old Arlington apartment complex, known to area residents as the Perry S. Hall Apartments, converted into low-income housing.
Habitat’s goal of building new homes is an ongoing project. There’s going to be a third construction planned for southern Arlington County to provide other deserving families of decent and affordable housing.
Applying for a Habitat for Humanity House is open to families regardless of race nor religion although there are factors used in selecting partner families: level of need, willingness to become partners in the program, ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest loan. There are local Habitat affiliates all throughout D.C.that can assist you with the application. You can also use Habitat’s online search tool.
photo credit: Strannik45
Public Comments for Improving King Street Metro
February 11, 2010 by jessebkaye
Tired of cramped and unsafe pedestrian areas at the King Street Metro? You now have a chance to let Alexandria planners of your daily struggle with confusing traffic patterns and insufficient bike facilities at the King Street Metro. City planners will consider public comments (via email: email@example.com) until March 1st before the City of Alexandria and WMATA can come up with a final design to upgrade accessibility for pedestrians and vehicles at the King Street Metro.
Preliminary to the final plan, talks have been made of how to use the $4.3 million in grant funding for the King Street Metro project. Planners are targeting to address the lack of recirculation for buses or autos. There were also suggestions of relocating the taxi stand farther from the Metro station and as well as moving the bike storage lockers to a more convenient location.
An overview of the design would show that planners are aiming at the expansion of the walkways to protect walkers from traffic. To this end, suggestions have been made of removing some of the surface parking to increase pedestrian access.
photo credit: King of all Remote Controls
Never Have I Ever…Mold
February 9, 2010 by jessebkaye
This past week I had the opportunity of seeing something amazing, baffling, and yet educational. While I can’t disclose the address I will say that this is one of the most unique circumstances in one of the most highly trafficked locations anywhere. What’s the subject? One of the worst mold cases I’ve ever seen in my career. Take a look…
…so who wants it?
Could DC Ever Adopt Ciclovia? Lets Shut Down 1/2 the Streets.
February 7, 2010 by jessebkaye
This afternoon I came a cross a wonderful video about how Columbia shuts down many of their main thoroughfares to help offer incentives to have the general population get out and ride a bike, run, or exercise with their family. Its so popular its become a national event. Would DC ever adopt a similar route plan? I would support it. Would you?
temporary technorati 2
January 28, 2010 by jessebkaye
January 28, 2010 by jessebkaye
Dupont Down Under May Live Again, City to Issue RFP
January 22, 2010 by jessebkaye
I just read a great article on the City Paper about Dupont Down Under – which apparently may come back to life.
This past month the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development said they’re considering reopening the space under dupont circle and will issue an RFP, or request for proposals, some time this month.
Read my prior post on Dupont Circle Down Under
Developer Marketing 101
January 10, 2010 by jessebkaye
Big Banners at the Josephine Condominium at 440 Rhode Island Ave NW.
We just launched the marketing for the building. What do you think of the design for the banners?
87 V St NW – One of my Favorites
December 14, 2009 by jessebkaye
I passed by one of my favorite DC homes this afternoon while driving home from downtown to the office. If you have a chance to stop by take a look at the meticulous care and vision behind 87 V St NW.
The H Street Trolley is coming!
November 20, 2009 by jessebkaye
I happen to read through UrbanTurf.com yesterday only to find out that the upcoming Anacostia and H Street Trolley cars are finally on their way. And you thought it wouldn’t happen! Well take a look at the UT article.
Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended
November 6, 2009 by jessebkaye
Informative article from CNNMoney.com that covers the extended rules and outlines how it will be applicable for a broader range of homebuyers.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com)
By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
November 6, 2009: 3:18 PM ET
President Obama signed an extension and expansion of the first-time homebuyers tax credit on Friday.
The $8,000 credit was scheduled to lapse on Dec. 1 but will now be in effect through the end of June. Homebuyers must sign a contract before April 30 and close by June 30. The income limits were also raised: Single buyers can now earn up to $125,000 and still get the full credit while a married couple can earn $225,000.
The bill also made more homeowners eligible to claim the credit on their taxes. First-time buyers — those who have not owned a home in the past three years — still qualify for an $8,000 rebate. But now people who want to trade up can also qualify. Those who have owned and occupied a residence for at least five years out of the past eight can claim a $6,500 tax credit if they close on a purchase by the end of June.
“The new version of the tax credit has the potential to stimulate the housing market even more than the old version due to the fact that more people will qualify under the new rules,” said Gibran Nicholas, chairman of the CMPS Institute, an organization that certifies mortgage bankers and brokers.
Nicholas provided four scenarios illustrating how the tax credit rules for existing homebuyers will apply:
• Harry owned a home in 2001 and 2002 but sold it to relocate for a job. He would qualify for the $8,000 first-time-buyer credit because he has not owned a home in the past three years.
• Sue purchased a home in 2004 and has lived there since. If she decides to buy a new home, she would qualify for the $6,500 tax credit because she has lived in the same residence for five consecutive years in the past eight.
• Jane purchased her home in 2002, lived there for five consecutive years before she rented it out in 2007. She would qualify because she was an owner/occupier for at least five consecutive years in the past eight.
• Mark purchased a home in 2006 and lived there for the past three years. He would not qualify because he is neither a first-time homebuyer nor someone who lived in the same primary residence for five consecutive years out of the past eight.
How it helps the economy
Legislators and industry experts expect that the credit will encourage buyers such as Jane and Sue to move up their purchase plans.
“This bill will shift demand from the second half of 2010 into the first half,” said Pat Newport, a real estate analyst with IHS Global Research. “As a result, home sales and prices will get a boost in the first half of 2010, with payback in the second.”
That’s not a bad thing, according to Bill Kilmer, vice president of advocacy for the National Association of Home Builders. It’s important to stabilize real estate markets quickly to help bring the economy out of its tailspin.
The original $8,000 tax credit appears to have helped accomplish that goal: Home prices have inched up the past few months, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
Would it have happened anyway?
But critics still see the program as being ineffectual because it rewards buyers who would have purchased a home anyway. Newport estimates that fewer than 400,000 of the 2 million who have claimed the original credit made their purchases solely because of the tax advantages.
Furthermore, buyers do not, in reality, receive the entire benefit. “The credit helped prices stabilize,” said Newport. “So the credit has been split between seller and buyer. The sellers are getting higher prices and buyers paying more than they would have without it.”
The housing industry, however, is pleased with the extension, although the credit has not been quite as effective as they hoped.
The industry thought the credit would provide a ripple effect, with sales to first timers triggering as many three additional “move-up” sales.
That did not happen, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
“It did not have the chain reaction impact it was supposed to,” he said. “Instead, many first-timers turned to vacant, foreclosed or other distressed properties the sellers of which were unlikely to be move-up buyers.”
So, the tax credit helped prop up the low end of the market without having much impact on the rest of the spectrum. Expanding the benefit to existing homeowners should boost those segments. That should produce additional benefits, according to Yun.
“Preventing further price decline or even nudging prices up a bit stabilizes housing wealth, which makes homeowners more comfortable in their spending,” said Yun. “They’re more likely to go out to the stores or buy a new car. That provides a boost to the overall economy.”
BuildingDC.com featured on Verizon Fios1
October 5, 2009 by jessebkaye
Live the Luxury without the Price – Near Logan Circle
September 29, 2009 by jessebkaye
The address – 440 Rhode Island Ave NW
The Building – The Josephine Condominium
Sales Start - October 2009
The latest major construction between N Capitol St and Logan Circle is the Josephine. The site, formerly owned by Frank Nicol with Nicol Developmet, was purchased nearly a year ago by the current owner. The building, built throughout 2009, features 20 brand new units. All of the units are 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and no unit is smaller than 950 square feet. Parking is available and an elevator is on site. The building has a 2500 sq ft roof deck with elevator access with unobstructed views to the East, South and West.
The kitchens have 2 available color options of European single panel cabinets, clean accent handles, and great storage space. The floors are either a natural finish or a multi-tone cherry. The countertops are a cream colored Silestone with rounded edges. The appliances include either Bosch or LG, hand selected to coincide with the atmosphere of the rest of the kitchen.
The bathrooms feature either a Porcelanosa shower surround with glass shower door or a tub with accentuated lines and spacing.
What makes the building so spectacular is the area, and as the saying goes, ‘location, location, location’.
West - 2 blocks - the Howard Univ/Shaw Metro with both Yellow and Green lines.
Northwest – 3 blocks – the upcoming Broadcast Center One, the intended “entertainment district” of DC
Northwest – 4 blocks – the restoation of the Howard Theater
Northwest – 8 blocks – the nightlife of U Street corridor
East – 5 blocks – recently opened Big Bear Cafe with the weekend Open Market
South – 6 blocks – the DC Convention Center
South – 11 blocks – Chinatown & Penn Quarter
Southwest – 6 blocks – upcoming Roadside Development’s O Street Market with the new Giant
Prices range from the mid $300′s to the mid $400′s dependent on level and unit size.
For more information go to www.JOSEPHINECONDOS.com
Car Barn on Capitol Hill – Whats the Buzz?
September 16, 2009 by jessebkaye
As surprising as it may sound my highest trafficking page on the site is the Car Barn on Capitol Hill page, which nearly doubles the traffic of the next closest competitor and I can say that I understand why.
The Car Barn is a former Streetcar depot and repair shop that includes 146 1 and 2 bedroom units as well as 50 2 bedroom townhomes. The typical layout of the units involves the upper-level 2 bedroom units facing outward (towards the street) and the 1 bedroom lower units facing into the community with a front area patio. On the interior is secured parking as well as a fabulous tranquil pool with a great deck.
If you’re in the market for a gated, strong community based condominium in the city make sure to keep the Car Barn on your list.
Other Courtyard-style Gated Communities include:
Living on Capitol Hill
July 12, 2009 by jessebkaye
There’s nothing that can beat the experience of living on the Hill. Deciding on choosing a four-unit building that unifies with the area’s individual brick townhouses or the development of hundreds of units, condominiums. Decisive buyers and dwellers close to the Capital dome find a new haven of locality that gives a slower speed than Northwest Washington but definitely has the comfort and modern facilities that homeowners hunt for.
This is the ideal life that a homeowner basically ask from us, their realtors. There is no way you’re going to buy a property if there will be no convenience and enjoyment that you could have in the vicinity.
Two years ago we were looking at prices in the $300 to $400 per square foot range for new condos. This year, it is more like $500 to $600, sometimes more for new construction. That’s not including condo fees. So the obvious downside to this is that you’re hard-pressed to find anything livable under $200,000. That’s tough for first-time buyers.
Even so, there is no visible buyer deficiency. The two large condo projects currently being constructed have ignited attention for new fangled buyers. It doesn’t matter if you’re new couples or single.
John Beggert, development manager at JPI, whose Jenkins Row Project at 14th Street SE & Pennsylvania Avenue SE includes 247 luxury condos, a Harris Teeter grocery store and some additional establishments for people to enjoy has stated that even though the first condos were ready late in the summer of 2007, fewer than 10 units are still available. The condos include underground parking and a shared roof terrace. Prices start at $300,000 for studios and over $1 million for three bedroom apartments.
There is also another huge development at the 3rd and H streets NE which is the Senate Square. It is behind the Union Station formerly called as the Capital Children’s Museum. This project is being handled together by Abdo Development, situated behind the 45-loft historic reconstruction and Broadway Management, where they are developing 480 condos in a section of new construction.
The innovative condos located in 130 year old building called the Landmark Lofts are equipped with Sub-Zero refrigerators and Wolf ranges which they are selling from $700,000 to more than $1 million. Traditionally, new construction condos averagely range from $300,000 to more than $1 million
“The entire city block is expected to convey significant benefits, like an open courtyard, benches, a screening room and lab pool”, said Toby Millman, vice president of project development for Abdo.
Millman said he is watching new businesses open on H Street NE, like the dance studio Joy of Motion and the Jamaican restaurant Phish Tea. He expects a grocery store to open near Senate Square. “Union Station has been drawing tourists,” he said, “but as H Street develops, residents will be taking advantage of all its shops and restaurants.”
Jack and Jill–or Jack and Jack or Jil and Jill– on Capitol Hill
April 26, 2009 by jessebkaye
First time homebuyers are having a great time on Capitol Hill as the spring flowers begin to line the sidewalks, temperatures rise and great price and selection abound. If you are looking to invest 600k-700k on “The Hill” there is no better time—low interest rates, the DC Homestead tax deduction and lots of new inexperienced buyers who will take their time to get the numbers right–or who may move impulsively. If you have done your homework with a good realtor, you have your personal monthly budget clear and a pre-approval letter from your lender you are ready to grab a great deal on Cap Hill. Most buyers lack one or more of these above ingredients to be able to move swiftly when a great place comes on the market (and it will). Just in the last month I have watched great Capitol Hill rowhouses get snatched up within days–with competing offers. Sellers are not waiting too long, either, to bring down their prices to meet the market. Be careful: some people will claim their property is on Capitol Hill but is not. The historic disctrict is considered WEST of 13th St. Properties on 18th and 19th will sometimes claim to be on Capitol Hill. Go take a careful look and you will see the trick.
The Visio Condo has One of my Favorite Units
April 17, 2009 by jessebkaye
If I wanted to spend nearly $1 million in the U street area, PN wouldn’t even come close to the finish work at this beautiful unit.
For more information contact Jesse Kaye offering Real Estate in Washington DC and Prudential Carruthers Realtors at 202-684-8144.
Home Improvements go “GREEN”
A special’Thank You’ to Shanon Munn, ASID principal Ambi Design Studio LLC, for this fantastic information…
Details count in this changing real estate market. Sellers are looking for every advantage
they can get in order to appeal to savvy home buyers, while potential home owners are
looking for the best value and potential for their money. One element that is gaining
steam is eco-friendly or “green” living. Besides the growing societal importance there
are the additional benefits of cost savings on utilities and tax credits (consult your tax
There are a number of renovations that sellers or new homeowners can make to help
improve their homes efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. Following is a list of
ten improvements that will get you well on your way to a greener lifestyle:
1. Add additional insulation to your attic and seal up any potential leaks around
windows. This will reduce the heat transmission into and out-of your home and help to
regulate the air-conditioned temperature.
2. Plant trees. The shade from a tree also helps to regulate and maintain a comfortable
temperature, as well as reducing carbon dioxide in the air.
3. Freshen up your rooms with low VOC paints. These paints do not off-gas after
installation and help to maintain indoor air health.
4. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs in light fixtures. These fixtures last many times
longer than traditional bulbs and use much less energy.
5. Install ENERGY STAR appliances. These appliances have been tested an approved
for improved energy consumption.
6. Replace old faucetry and fixtures with modern low-flow fixtures. New low-flow
fixtures now do better job maintaining good water pressure.
7. Install a tankless water heater that requires less energy than traditional models.
8. Install a new energy efficient HVAC system with a digital thermostat and clean out all
HVAC ducts to eliminate dust and allergens from your air, maintaining good indoor air
9. Look for low U value windows when replacing old windows. The U factor measures
the insulating value of a window.
10. Replace old decking with composite decking made from recycled plastic. It requires
low maintenance and will look great much longer than traditional decking.
The Ventura – SOLD OUT!
Who said it was impossible? Who said the market was challenging?
Well, they were right!
HOWEVER, I can now announce that the team sold out of our last unit at the Ventura Condominium in Logan Circle. The brilliant five unit building was built and designed by Hyo Lee with Millennium Homes out of Potomac Homes and I have to give him the most credit. His designs, finish work, creativity and execution were all flawless. The building’s integration between contemporary finishes with a more traditional layout helped my team deliver & market a building where I am proud to have worked.
Over the past five months we sold five units. Under normal circumstances this may not seem like much but when we frame the sales in the context of percentages, 20% per month sure seems like a success.
This month we are launching our new platform on BuildingDC.com. We’ve been behind a bit but once we launch, our clients listings will be exposed to nearly 20,000 new readers a month. Its a secret for now but if you are developing or selling, we’d love the opportunity to discuss what benefits you have in working with out team and what our new platform can do for you.
Navy Yard Condominiums on Capitol Hill
Oddly, this past week I have had numerous requests from clients interested in finding a condominium near the Navy Yard on Capitol Hill. Here’s a list of some of my favorites…based on the developers vision, quality of workmanship, and value.
1- The Iridium Condominium byBrook Rose
2- The Axis Condominium by Macy Development
WBJ Posts Similar Market Improvements in DC
April 5, 2009 by jessebkaye
So I’m not the only one…I just read an article in the Washington Business Journal titled “Real estate agents seeing early bursts of home buying.” The article couldnt be more on track with what my team and I are seeing. Over the past 30 days, traffic to BuildingDC.com has increased 12%, our phones are ringing off of the hook, we just hired on our full time Admin, Patti Cumming, and we are hiring another agent this week to accomodate the increases.
Why the sudden change?
There are several attributions I can make to help understand the increase in business…
Rock-bottom mortgage rates – this past week my preferred lender Masoud Hosseini with Countrywide (lendingdc.com) locked in one of my clients at 4.75%. How much better than that does it get? The Federal Government is almost losing money on every FHA backed loan to help spur home buyers to begin buying again.
One of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 6.1% – 03/2009 – while we may not have the lowest unemployment rates in the country, we are in the bottom 10%. With low unemployment comes a stable economy. Since we are doing relatively well, and the Government is hiring right now, it is expected that our housing market will maintain a stable level.
Increase in demand due to the Spring market – annual trending shows market activity to increase the most in the Spring market. With school years ending, the weather being more accomodating, and the natural movement of people, this is the time it will all take place.
Growth in Federal Government job market – we all know what has happened in the financial markets over the past few months. There is no need to beat a dead horse. What is worth discussing is the fact that due to what has happened, the Government is increasing the number of regulators on their payroll to help ensure nothing like this happens again. Where do you think the job growth will take place? Right here in Washington.
Decrease in supply – as many sellers have made alternative decisions besides selling their homes and the existing homes that have been on the market are being purchased, the remaining active listings decreases. As a result the currently active properties on the market will offer buyers fewer choices.
Fannie & Freddie now allow ten investment properties – up from four last month. For the past 9 months, the maximum allowed number of mortgages Fannie & Freddie would lend to a single borrower was four. Not a lender I could find would lend beyond that number, and the reason for it seemed to be that a drastic number of investors across the country were partially to blame for the downturn in the market, and many were on the top of the foreclosure list for banks.
Consumers have stopped panicking – now that there is a consumer-wide acceptance of where the economy is and what we have to expect, buyers are beginning to make more ‘normal’ decisions in their daily lives – including home ownership.
Who said H Street was not HOT?
April 3, 2009 by jessebkaye
I have to admit that I was a bit surprised when I opened the Washington City Paper’s “Best of DC 2009″ this morning (I know I’m a few days late). As I read through the list of Best of’s there was one thing that stood out to me…how many of DC’s Best of’s were on H Street NE.
The area, known for years as a street that has long since seen its Hayday, may be making its comeback. There is a new light rail trolley system coming in 2010 as a part of DC’s ‘Great Streets’ Initiative as well as several other investments the city is making to help improve the street.
Several of DC’s Best of’s include:
Sova Espresso & Wine (Coffee Shop that’s not Starbucks) at 1359 H St NE
Taylor Gourmet (Deli) at 1116 H St NE
Granville Moore (Gastropub) at 1238 H St NE
Granville Moore (Mussels) at 1238 H St NE
If you are looking for a great home in an up-and-coming area, the H Street Corridor may be for you. There is a great building coming up around the corner called the Renee. It might be worth a look for those condo buyers out there.