DC Condo Boutique

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The first real estate reality show I ever watched featured the Car Barn, one of my favorite Capitol Hill condo developments.  If memory serves me correctly, the buyer on the show did not end up purchasing the unit at the Car Barn.

If you still believe in the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy, you may want to stop reading this post.  According to Mary Ellen Podmolik of the Chicago Tribune, all those real estate reality shows on HGTV and other networks are fake!  An example cited by Ms. Podmolik was that one show filmed 40 hours of home shopping that was cut to create the 25 minute House Hunters episode.  In fact the buyers in this particular show had to shoot the same conversation about a property over and over from different angles.

Sorry to let the

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foreclosure_street_sign_250Foreclosures are bank-owned properties, which are often (but not always) priced at a discount to competing listings and can offer significant savings to a savvy buyer.  Banks are not in business to own homes and condos and are generally very motivated to sell their foreclosed assets.

Foreclosures have not impacted the DC Condo market like they have in other markets like Las Vegas, Miami and Phoenix.  In the District, our developers are primarily building on infill parcels with both and infrastructure like the Metro are already in place.  This is in contrast to markets like Las Vegas and Phoenix where developers are pushing outward to create new neighborhoods where land is cheap but little infrastructure is already in-place.  The steady and diversified

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Not quite sure why, but lots of search hits this week for Solea, a new condo project at the northwest corner of 14th Street and Florida Avenue. Solea was designed by Sorg Associates and developed Jair Lynch Development Partners.  It features 59 condos with 52 residential and seven live/work units and 20% classified as affordable.  This 65,000 SF project also include three street-level retail condos.

Solea units feature hardwood floors, stainless appliances, granite countertops and washer/dryers.  Over-sized seven foot windows create panoramic views from Solea living space. Solea units have a spacious feel with a minimum ceiling height of ten feet.

The Solea location is being marketed as "the Gateway to Columbia Heights."  Florida Avenue serves as

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2501_penn_400The most expensive condo to sell in the District during November 2009 was in the West End at  the new 2501 Penn project located at 2501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW #3A, Washington DC. This new construction unit is features 2 BR and 2.5BA.

The selling price was $2.1M.  Congratulations to selling Realtor Michele Topel of Urban Pace for closing the most expensive condo sale in the District in November 2009.

Honorable mention for the 2nd most expensive DC condo sold in November 2009 was in Observatory Circle at the Colonnade Condominiums located 2801 New Mexico Avenue NW #PH 7-8, Washington, DC.  This penthouse unit is 3,100 SF and features 3 BR + library and 3.5 BA.

The selling price was $1.4M / $451 SF.  Congratulations to Diana Hart of TTR Sothebys

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Walking is the essence of the DC urban lifestyle.  It doesn't matter if you are a K Street attorney with a pair of cordovan Allen-Edmonds oxfords or a lobbyist adorned in a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps and a secret pair of New Balance running shoes stashed away for the daily commute.........walking around the District is part of your daily routine.

Walk Score is a company that has graded properties and neighborhoods across the country for their walkability.  Washington, DC comes in very high at #7 on the national ranking of major cities only trailing the likes of San Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago.  Walk Score uses a 100 point grading system and some of the District's neighborhoods have extremely high walkability rankings:

  1. Dupont Circle 99
  2. Logan
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The Whole Foods on P Street in Logan Circle
  http://www.flickr.com/photos/mvjantzen/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

 Urban Turf via the Washington Post reported on Logan Circle in today's Where We Live profile.  The article titled, Trendy Now, But Not By Accident, provides an overview of the dramatic transformation of Logan Circle including the 14th Street Corridor.

Interesting nuggets in the article about Logan Circle included:

  • 390 sales YTD under $1M
  • 15 sales YTD over $1M
  • Two-thirds of all active listings are condos
  • Starter rowhouses begin at $700,000
  • Entry-level, one-bedroom condos are priced around $350,000

One of the major concerns of neighborhood activists is the ongoing loss of Logan Circle artists due to escalating real estate prices.  Logan

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Rendering by Bonstra | Haresign Architects 

The Washington Business Journal reports on the sale of a vacant lot at the corner of 14th and R Streets in Logan Circle.  Plans call for a 7-story, 30,000 SF development including 32 luxury condos and 3,000 SF of retail. The project has been patterned in likeness to the showrooms which formerly lined the "Automobile Row" section of 14th Street. Our office, Hounshell Real Estate represented the buyer.

This location at 1638 14th Street in Logan Circle is a hot corner and primed for development. Competing projects in close vicinity include The Matrix at  1529 14th Street and the loft developments on the 1400 block of Church Street including Lofts 14 and Lofts 14 Two.

This project is a Bonstra | Haresign

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Corner of 13th and Corcoran  

Corcoran Street, which runs from 13th Street in Logan Circle to 19th Street in Dupont Circle is a great street for a stroll when passing between these two neighborhoods. This tree-lined street is dominated by Victorian and Federal row houses, many of which have been renovated or restored in a meticulous manner.

Several of the blocks along Corcoran Street have been enhanced with brick sidewalks.  Corcoran Street residents have contributed to the street's ambiance with beautiful landscaping and gardens.  Corcoran Street offers the convenience of an easy walk to both the Dupont Circle  and U street Metro Stations as well as the Whole Foods on P Street and the Safeway at the corner of 17th.

Current Corcoran Street

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washington_harbour_384The most expensive condo to sell in the District during October 2009 was in Georgetown at Washington Harbour  Condominiums located at 3030 K Street, #305, NW Washington, DC.  This newly renovated unit is 2,513 SF and features 2 BR+ den and 2.5BA.

The selling price was $1.7M / $676 SF.  Congratulations to selling Realtor John Vardas of TTR Sothebys International Realty for closing the most expensive condo sale in the District in October 2009.

22-west_400Honorable mention for the 2nd most expensive DC condo sold in October 2009 was in the West End at 22 West Condos, located at 1177 22nd Street, NW Washington, DC.  This newly constructed 1,654 SF condo features 2BR+den and 2 BA.

The selling price was $1.5M / $906 SF.  Congratulations to Shawn Breck of TTR Sothebys

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 Visio - 2109 10th st nw

A discussion of the best residential condo builders in DC needs to include Robertson Development.  This ten-year-old  firm has raised the bar in Washington with a strong roster of completed projects.  Robertson has focused their efforts in the Logan Circle and U Street Corridor neighborhoods.

The Robertson Development mission statement offers a glimpse into the soul of the firm:

To create residential and retail space that reflects our passion for great design and true quality craftsmanship, while always striving to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction and business ethics.

A single visit to a Robertson project can change your entire perspective on the definition of a quality condo in the DC market.  Robertson's unique designs,

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