DC Condo Boutique

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What could be better for a busy Washingtonian than coming home from work and having a friendly place in the building to have an adult beverage and dinner?  While everyone makes fun of Norm on Cheers.....there is something to be said for having a seat at the bar where everyone knows your name!

A trend that is gaining momemtum here in the District is to develop condo buildings with ground floor retail and dining options.  While residential over retail won't work on the leafy streets of Kalorama, it certainly does in the the more urban neighborhoods of the District.  Developments with this configuration are proving very popular with their residents. 

While there are many other developments in the District with ground level dining, here are some

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Valley Vista is a venerable beaux arts art deco (thanks Stuart!) building overlooking Rock Creek Park and the Taft Bridge on the Adams Morgan - Kalorama border.  This 6-story, 169 unit building built in 1928 had interior common space renovations completed in 2007.

With a WalkScore ranking of 89/100, Valley Vista offers convenient walking access to Woodley Park Metro Station, Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle. Lined with tall old trees and facing Rock Creek Park, this leafy section of Belmont Road offers urban serenity for its residents.

Condo options at Valley Vista include studios, 1 BR and 2 BR options.  Currently there are three condos available at Valley Vista ranging in  price from $229,000 to $625,000.  Here is a resource to view active Valley

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Interesting report in the minnpost.com detailing a housing experts predictions for shifts in American housingdc_beltway_traffic_250 demographics away from suburban sprawl to urban central cites and suburban town centers.  This lifestyle shift was discussed in a presentation delivered to the Urban Land Institute of Minnesota by housing researcher John Mcllwain.

For many years, the Washington DC area has been at the forefront of this suburban to urban shift described by Mcllwaine. The development around both Metro stations and town centers throughout the entire region is staggering.

Here in the District, even 25 years ago who could have predicted a renewed 14th Street Corridor....how about a revitalized Columbia Heights or luxury high-rises in the Capital Riverfront? 

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A wonderful restoration is underway at the corner of 16th Street NW and T Street in the Dupont Circle neighborhood.  Potomac Construction Group is restoring 1841 16th Street into three luxury condos with delivery scheduled for August 2010.  Luxury finishes include Pedini Kitchens, designer appliances and bamboo flooring.

Located in the 16th Street Historic District, 1841 16th was designed by prominent DC architect Nicholas Haller.   Constructed in 1890, the building serves as the architectural keystone for the six buildings on this corner.  Before the renovation, this property was formerly known as the" Demon House,"  due to the state of disrepair it had fallen into.  In June of 2008, residents of the property were evacuated after an interior wall in

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If you are in the market for a condo in DC, one of the things you should consider is whether or not a particular project is "FHA approved."  FHA approved means that the Federal Housing Administration will insure the loan, mitigating risks and ultimately reducing costs for the lender.  

Buyers benefit from utilizing an FHA loan in a number of ways.  Most importantly, current down payment requirements for an FHA loan is only 3.5%, significantly below the 20% to 25% down payment amount required for a conventional condo loan.  In the District on a typical $400,000 condo, the FHA down payment is $14,000 vs $80,000 - $100,000 for a conventional mortgage.  Buyers utilizing FHA backed loans also benefit from lower interest rates, easier qualification process and…
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 14th Street in DC starts at Roosevelt Island and runs north to the Maryland border in Silver Spring.  Along this corridor northward to Columbia Heights are neighborhoods where DC has experienced significant transformation and revitalization over the last decade.  The catalyst for this development was Metro Green Line extension with stations at U Street and  Columbia Heights.

Condo developments in the 14th Street Corridor heading north from downtown include the Alta at Thomas Circle.  Located further north in the Logan Circle neighborhood along 14th Street are: the Matrix; Lofts 14; Lofts 14 Two and Q14.  In the U Street Corridor neighborhood, PN Hoffman's Union Row is located on 14th Street.  Northward in the Columbia Heights neighborhood are

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Snow's Court + Hughes Mews Alley Dwellings

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Tucked away in Foggy Bottom just nine blocks from the White House are the historic Hughes Mews and Snow's Court alleys.  These alleys feature charming row houses originally built in the late 19th century to accommodate the growing industrial workforce of Foggy Bottom.

Alley life in the 19th century was thought to be challenging with multiple families living in a single row house dwelling. In a project for the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Design, Eldra D. Walker provides an informative overview of late 19th century alley living conditions. Today, these alley homes have been restored to single-family homes and offer a unique urban experience.

Hughes News is located

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 dumbarton_buffalo_240In the upper-crust Georgetown social circles, a friendly rivalry exists between residents of the East Village and West  Village enclaves.  Although not fortified like the Maginot Line during World War II, Wisconsin Avenue serves as the dividing line between these two urban villages.  East Village is home to the rich and famous including Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn and Bob Woodward and has also been featured in several movies over the years.

One of the key attractions to East Village residents is the close proximity to both Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom and their Metro Stations.  With Walk Scores in the mid 80s, the East Village is classified as a "very walkable" neighborhood.  East Village residents enjoy the greenery, natural beauty and serenity of

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Logan Circle at the intersection of Rhode Island and Vermont Avenues and 13th and P Streets is the last surviving residential-only traffic circle in the original L'Enfant Plan.  The Victorian row houses that ring Logan Circle are among the most famous and photographed in the entire district.

The post-war economic downturn and white flight in the Logan Circle neighborhood stifled investment and stalled development that would have replaced Victorian-era row houses with denser developments.  As gentrification has consumed the Logan neighborhood, block after block of row houses have been brought back to life in a grand manner.

Row house architecture in Logan Circle includes Renaissance Revival, Second Empire, Richardson Romanesque and Romanesque Revival

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Georgetown and Kalorama Have Top Luxury Sales
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The most expensive condo to sell in the District during May 2010 was in Georgetown at the Residences at Harbourside, located at 2900 K Street NW #607, Washington, DC.  This 2-level penthouse unit was completed in 2008 and is 5,167 SF and features 5 BR / 5.5 BA.  The selling price was $4.5M / $871 SF.

2120_wyoming_400Congratulations to selling Realtor Nancy Itteilag of Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. for closing the most expensive condo sale in the District in May 2010.

Honorable mention for the 2nd most expensive DC condo sold in May 2010 was in Kalorama at 2120 Wyoming, located at 2120 Wyoming NW #3,  Washington DC.  This two-level loft style unit was completed in 2007 and is 2,160 SF and features 3 BR / 2.5 BA.  The

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