Monday, February 06, 2006

Two Competing Rowhouses on Capitol Hill

On Sunday, I visited two open houses on Capitol Hill. These two houses were literally 4 rowhouses away from each other. One was located at 1213 C ST SE, the other one was located at 1221 C ST SE. It is a historic area with cute charming rowhouses that is pretty well gentrified.

The property located at 1221 C ST SE is priced at 525K. It was just reduced from 535K. Before that it was priced at 549K. It is for sale by owner. MLS # DC5499473.

The rowhouse was just recently renovated. It has 3 Bedrooms, 3 floors. It looks nice inside. Each floor is really small. 1.5 Bathrooms, 2 fireplaces, hardwood floors, spacious rear yard, new rooftop / hvac systems, upgraded electrical and plumbing systems. Custom porcelain tile for the kitchen countertops. On the market 25 days.

The competition located just 4 houses down the street at 1213 C Street SE is priced at 499K. MLS # DC5509211 . "Classic capitol hill location...Positioned within steps of all the hill has to offer. This two bedroom/one and one half bath home was completely renovated in 2000 with all the bells and whistles--hardwood floors, granite kitchen, gas fireplace, jacuzzi tub and crown molding. Plus, a super deep rear garden which backs to south carolina avenue!!" It has 2 bedrooms [ one is closet sized small ], 1.5 bathrooms. Gut rehab job in 2000. On the market 16 days.

There were many people visiting both rowhouses. The vast majority of the home visitors were just browsing and not seriously interested. I asked the owner in 1221 C Street SE about the competition just down the street. He responded "I don't see it as competition. This one is 50% bigger. Look at the price per square foot." It is not 50% bigger.

  • So which one is a better buy? 1221 C Street SE
  • Which one will sell first? Depends. Which one will be reduced in price.
  • Will either one sell at its listed price? Probably Not.


  1. It's funny how tastes change. 20 years ago, nobody wanted to live in old rowhouses. Now the neighborhood is better (still not good, but better), and the houses are 20 years older, and those rowhouses are more popular.

    Still, probably not half a million bucks popular.

  2. LOL at reducing the price 14K. Yeah, that makes a big difference.

  3. David is being rather charitable in presenting "the competition." These two houses are in fact right around the corner from Walter Street, SE, where lie two more, comparable houses, in the same price range, that have been sitting for quite some time. David has reported on that block, too.

    Within a quarter-mile radius of these two row houses lie an increasing number of "gems" for sale, at comparably inflated prices.

    April on Capitol Hill is going to be very intersting...or not.

  4. Those prices don't seem too bad to me. At least compared to what smaller condos are going for around here. I'd much rather have a "house" with a strip of land.

  5. I don't think comparisons to other inflated properties is the best way to decide about whether they are reasonably priced.

  6. 2 price reductions in 25 days? That's one anxious seller.

  7. Interesting? In Mount Pleasant, seems like the market is still very hot, according to an agent I spoke with today.

    In fact, the general consensus is that condos prices are down 10%, but houses are pretty flat.

  8. dcbubble - Thank you for the shocking news your "agent" has delivered on the "very hot" market in Mt. Pleasant. That is wonderful - shall we buy two houses, then?

    As for the houses featured in this post, the first, at 1221 C Street had a "for sale" sign on it long before the renovation was finished. In fact, they had repainted the bottom half of the house, and then, apparently, ran out of paint. They left it half painted for several weeks. It was good for a giggle, anyway.