Capitol Hill Sales – First Quarter 2014

Here’s the latest report on what we all want to know about Capitol Hill Sales – inventory and pricing. This helps further by placing both in recent historical context.

Inventory remains on the lowest end in the two decades reflected here  – just 29 properties on the market on Jan 1, 2014 as opposed to 397 listings on that date in 1995 and 73 listings at the New Year in 2011.

The average sold price so far for 2014 is $681K while the median is at $640K. Homes in the $500,000-$1M range are up every year, as would be expected given the rapid increase in prices over the last few years. Only 1% of sales in 1995 were in that range, so far in 2014 that figure is 65%.

Average days on the market so far in 2014 is slower than 2013’s average: 38 vs. 28.

That’s what struck me! More detailed information can be found in the presentation below. Or click for a downloadable version.

New App Explains Proposed DCPS Boundaries

Code for DC, part of the Code for America Brigade, has created a user-friendly and very informative app to see how the proposed DCPS Boundary Changes might affect your property’s assigned schools.

“We are an independent civic group called Code for DC. We took the proposals created by the Advisory Committee and made this website to explain what these policies would mean for you. As you explore the proposed changes, tell us what you think. We will collect everyone’s responses and share them with the Advisory Committee for consideration.”

Click here to check out the app:

DC Open Doors Program Helps Renters Become Owners


Heard of “DC Open Doors” Yet? This program, launched in June of 2013, is designed to help renters become District homeowners. Requirements for participation include:

  • Earn UNDER $123,395 per year.
  • Have a fair Credit Score (640+).
  • Find a home or condo that qualifies for DC Open Doors.
  • Have a Real Estate Agent and DCHFA approved lender/mortgage professional to facilitate home purchase & financing.
  • Live in the home you purchase for at least the first 5 years of ownership.

For more information, click here.

Condos (and townhomes!) on the upswing

the washington post logo

Saturday, April 5, 2014

by Michele Lerner

This piece in today’s Washington Post is headlined “Condos on the upswing” but really it’s about people making the choice about where they live based on amenities, and often deciding that variety and ease in their quality of life are the most important factors.

My favorite part as I read my morning paper: my friend and colleague (and birthday buddy!) the great Ryall Smith is quoted.

Volunteer Capitol Hill Night at the Hill Center


Saturday, May 10, from 10am – 2pm

“Learn about ways that you can make a difference at the Volunteer Capitol Hill volunteer fair at the Hill Center. This event showcases a wide variety of opportunities for volunteer service, featuring over 30 non-profit organizations that need assistance.

Whether you are looking to make a difference in the community, develop new job skills, make new friends, or spend time together as a family, Volunteer Capitol Hill will have diverse opportunities that can easily be matched to your availability, skills, and interests. This is a great opportunity for youth with service requirements for school as well.”


How to hunt for the right real estate agent before hunting for a home

the washington post logo

 Click here for the full article: How to hunt for the right real estate agent before hunting for a home

By Michele Lerner, Published: February 20

…”Des Marais says that buying a home is a three-part process, including looking for property and arranging financing, negotiating a contract and then getting to settlement. She says an agent can provide advice and insight during each of those phases.

Says David Bediz, an agent with the Bediz Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Washington: “Realtors can sometimes show buyers properties that they didn’t think they wanted to see but that work for them. Realtors have the knowledge and connections to push an offer or to make sure it’s written strongly enough to compete with other offers when there’s competition. When there isn’t competition for a property, an experienced Realtor can make recommendations about how much to offer formulated on evidence of the actual home value.”

Bediz points out that because agents’ commissions are paid by the sellers from the profit of the sale, buyers get the guidance for free.

“There’s almost never a reason to buy a house without the representation of a Realtor,” he says.

Des Marais says experienced, full-time agents see so many properties that they can help buyers understand the value in different homes and be realistic about the condition of the property and potential repair costs.”