Thursday, June 01, 2006

Washington, DC Pictures

Young Canadian Geese by 34th St and C & Co Canal in DC

Neglected rowhouse near K & 14th Street SE


Rehabbed rowhouse @ 33rd & Cady's Alley in Georgetown

63 comments:

  1. David,

    How about some photos of the homes of ambassadors and diplomats?

    How about a photo of the residence of the Italian ambassador to the United States? And the diplomatic staff who work in the embassies in DC? They live somewhere too, right?

    When Russia moves its embassy to Silver Spring to take advantage of falling prices, and the Italian ambassador moves his residence to Reston because he can get a better deal on 5000 square feet, please let us all know.

    In the meantime, I'm going to continue to aruge that DC has "baked in" value in the form of the huge international diplomatic contingent that calls DC "home". (and yes, foreign countries do purchase many many properties in DC for their diplomatic corps)

    bryce

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  2. "n the meantime, I'm going to continue to aruge that DC has "baked in" value in the form of the huge international diplomatic contingent that calls DC "home". (and yes, foreign countries do purchase many many properties in DC for their diplomatic corps)"

    This was also true in 2000 when prices were less then half.

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  3. "This was also true in 2000 when prices were less then half."

    That's right. And it was true in 1995, and 1990, and 1985, and 1980, and 1975, and 1970, and 1965, and 1960, and 1955, and 1950. See?

    And outside of massive violence and social upheaval, (see: Race Riots), the trend has been upward overall for some neighborhoods, and FLAT for others since that violence.

    If there is to be another round of massive violence and social upheaval in your nation's capital, you'll have more to worry about than whether or not you should be renting. Odds are, life as you know it will change permanently regardless of where you live.

    bryce

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  4. David,

    You should start entitling these entries as "Opportunity For Bryce To Glorify DC."

    Brought to you by the commission to combat sedentary lifestyles.

    :)

    My $0.02.

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  5. Bryce, why don't you go take those photos and start your own damn blog if you want to portray DC that way. This site is not called dcembassies.blogspot.com.

    And yes, I do want to stay anonymous because you stalk people.

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  6. "Portray DC that way"

    What way? As the hub of international diplomacy that it is?

    I'm amazed at the short-sightedness of people when it comes to where they live. So many people are like; "embassy? what's an embassy? Oh, those nice places I see when I drive through DC on my way to happy hour to get out of my drab suburban existence for a few hours before driving back home."

    Then, when I point out that the global diplomatic community is concentrated in DC proper; I get this: "Hey, all those people from around the world who live here 24/7/365 have no impact on the demand for housing in DC."

    Next you are going to tell me that there won't be a big surge in real estate transactions after the final term of the current President of the United States expires.

    Anon 8:43, nice to see that you are frightened of me. BTW: the boogey man lives under your bed.

    bryce

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  7. There is no speculative boom in foreign service jobs, so I don't see Namibia or Turkmenistan snatching up many of the 52,000 condos coming on the market in the next two years. The only country buying ardently right now might be China ("How many RMB for a 1-bed/1-bath on Mass Avenue?!?").

    Jerkstore

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  8. Who said anything about speculative boom in diplomatic housing? I'm talking about consistent demand over the course of decades.

    But if you want to start another specious argument, you're off to a good start. :)

    bryce

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  9. bryce-
    You make a great argument for why DC housing prices will *always* be *way* higher than in Podunk, Idaho or (insert flyover locale of your choice). But it still doesn't answer why prices were relatively flat for almost all of the 90s, only to explode around the year 2000. Pre-2000 were there no diplomats living in DC? Yes, DC absolutely, positively does have the "baked in" value that you refer to. But why did things only start to get weird around the year 2000? DC could go through the 30-40% price correction that many of us "yes there is a bubble" folks think will happen and prices will still be *much* higher than in (insert flyover locale of your choice).

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that you could be absolutely right that DC has unique and intrinsic value(I agree, fwiw) but there can still be a bubble. The two concepts aren't mutually exclusive.

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  10. Yeah, bryce keeps arguing this strawman as if someone is attacking the city while saying that the suburbs are o.k. This is not the case. Most of the bubbleheads on here (myself included) seem to believe that both city and suburbs are overvalued, and David has put up plenty of pictures of overvalued suburban houses as well.

    A Redskins fan

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  11. I baked a great big turd in my bowels, when it came to fruition it looked, smelled, and was in the same shape as DC. A smelly and disgusting turd is the most direct comparison for DC. If you baked in the true value and true character of DC, realestate here would be about 15% of the current median price.

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  12. What way? As the hub of international diplomacy that it is?

    Bryce, you are ticked off that David won't show the best of DC. Too bad. DC has both good and bad elements, just like any other major city in this country. There are the wealthiest, most pristine neighborhoods one can imagine, and then there is putrid squalor in other neighborhoods, particularly in portions of SE.

    If you want David to show DC as a hub of international diplomacy, too bad. People already know that. What most of us here are looking for is a picture of residential housing, not embassies.

    Now go work for the DC Chamber of Commerce and make yourself useful. Or start your own blog. Get a life, etc.

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  13. This is OFF TOPIC, but I am curious:
    Has anyone else noticed that Amercia's Most Overvalue Blog has vanished?
    ( http://overvalued.blogspot.com/ ) and appears to have been hijacked by "Comnercial Real Estate" - Is there a story here? Some brokers got tired of being dissed?

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  14. Obviously the disappearance of the overvalued blog is evidence of a conspiracy involving the real-estate industrial complex. They have eyes everywhere, you have no idea of how high up this goes.

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  15. Sorry, Bryce, you're totally off base.

    I'm sometimes critical of David because he latches on to any argument that appeals to him even when the argument is lame. Now you're doing the same thing.

    The embassies do not explain the runup in housing prices.

    And your "now DC is so freakin' cool, man" argument doesn't cut it either.

    Fact is, DC, Bethesda, and Arlington/Alexandria prices moved in the same directions even when DC was a hole. And the recent runup has also been in those suburbs, so the DC revitalization argument doesn't go to that, either.

    DCBUBBLE tried to make your argument, but failed to distinguish between DC suburbs and the entire states of Virginia and Maryland. So don't go using his fallacious comparison.

    I'm glad DC's revitalizing. The evidence still points to a big fat housing bubble. The two aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, a pricking of the bubble would likely be good for the long-term growth of the area.

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  16. The name of the species is Canada Geese, and they aren't necessarily Canadian, in fact those are probably American Canada Geese.

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  17. "So many people are like; "embassy? what's an embassy? Oh, those nice places I see when I drive through DC on my way to happy hour to get out of my drab suburban existence for a few hours before driving back home." "

    Funny, on my way out of DC (Capitol Hill) on my way home in Old Town Alexandria, I pass condemed houses and get stuck waiting in traffic along H street to get onto 395.

    Whilst stuck in traffic, a line of homeless persons take advantage of the captive audience, which has gotten really old (let me interject that this intersection contains a building I nearly moved to when I first came to DC--MassCourt for those familier--thank god I dodged that bullet of a 'gentrifying neighborhood'). I then pass under federal building after federal building that have all the grace and beauty of a concrete shoebox. Across the river and down 295 (it's quicker) through lovely SE DC (Anacostia to be exact) and by a sewage treatment plant (breath-holding recommended).

    When I cross back over the river (this time into Alexandria) I can literally and figuratively breathe a sigh of relief. I park with ease and am immediately walking distance from a large number and variety of restaurants, bars, cafes, and indie movie theater, a playhouse, my grocery store (good luck with that in DC), public square (w/ weekend farmers market), dance studios, yoga studios, health club and the potomac waterfront. Oh, and Old Town isn't exactly your McMansion 2.5 kids and a Golden Retriever, before you throw the dreaded "suburb" word at me. It has soul and character and no drive bys.

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  18. Bitter Bubble HeadJune 02, 2006 12:11 PM

    The nicest thing I can say about DC ( and the surrounding burbs) is that at least it is not as bad as Baltimore. The only reason people want to live in this region is to suck money from the breasts of uncle $am.

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  19. I like DC but prefer VA, however why has this blog digressed to DC versus suburbs. Let me remind everyone that the reason we come to this site is to further the bubblehead agenda. Now please let us resume bashing realtors, and greedy flippers no matter whether they are DC or the suburbs.

    NOVA Fence Sitter

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  20. You got my vote, fence sitter.

    I do feel inclined to speak to Bryce's behavior, however. I've noticed from his posts he spent some time in NYC. I happen to be a native New Yorker myself and what I pick up from Bryce is an attempt at the sort of ethnocentric Manhattan snobbery as it might relate to DC.

    You see, in New York, those who live outside Manhattan Island are rather looked down upon. They are of a lesser social stature and are subtly persecuted as such. "Bridge and tunnel people" comes to mind. It seems to me Bryce is trying to apply this sort of thing to DC.

    Well, to paraphrasse the late Lloyd Bentson, Bryce, I was born and raised in Manhattan, and the District of Columbia is no New York City.

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  21. dc_too,

    I spent some time on Long Island and I agree with your assessment somewhat. However, I think there has always been historical tensions between DC and NOVA particulary related to issues such as self-rule, commuter taxes, and also underlying racial issues. So I don't think Bryce is merely copying NY attitudes. However, NOVA isn't going away and I think DC will continue to be revitalized so these discussions of city dweller versus suburbinite are rather childish. Now what about to those greedy flippers?...

    NOVA Fence Sitter

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  22. "ethnocentric Manhattan snobbery"

    Yeah, I attended school and worked in Manhattan. I Lived in Astoria, Queens. (Which has undergone quite a transformation since I lived there, from what I understand.

    Never once did I compare DC to NYC. To do so is to compare magnolias with apples, so to speak.

    So get over it, and get over yourself.

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  23. This is essentially what I've been saying all along; (excerpt from James' link concerning the situation in Japan)

    "....few people are shopping for homes in the distant suburbs. That has led to severe declines in property values in these outlying areas, leaving many people with homes that are worth less than the balance on their mortgages..."

    Now, y'all have a nice Friday automotive commute back to whatever outlying area you call home.

    bryce

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  24. I'm amazed at the short-sightedness of people when it comes to where they live. So many people are like; "embassy? what's an embassy? Oh, those nice places I see when I drive through DC on my way to happy hour to get out of my drab suburban existence for a few hours before driving back home."

    So apparently the Georgetown police isn't going to arrest people for DUI for driving after just one beer? :-)

    Actually, in Falls Church, it's the other way around: We have people driving up here from DC to go to Home Depot, shopping, etc.

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  25. Actually, there is one parallel between DC and New York I buy.

    The NY know-nothings think the better ethnic food is in Manhattan, when the real good stuff is in the outer boroughs.

    The DC-know nothings think DC has the best ethnic food, when the real good stuff is in the NOVA and MD inner burbs.

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  26. "The DC-know nothings think DC has the best ethnic food, when the real good stuff is in the NOVA and MD inner burbs."

    Ooo, Mr. Hibatchi in Arlington is (was?) the best Koren fast food joint in the area. Is it still there?

    And there is a great little Peruvian/Latin papusa place off of Columbia Pike in Arlington, not far from the Cinema n' Drafthouse. Been there? The best places are literally in low-income ethnic enclaves.

    bryce

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  27. "Home Depot, shopping, etc."

    eh? There's a Home Depot in DC. Look into it.

    I'm very familiar with the HD in "Falls Church". Nice neighborhood. (cough)


    bryce

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  28. Wait: did somebody actually say Old Town has "soul"? To quote the late LLoyd Bentsen (from the same debate): "I don't make many mistakes, but that one was a real doozy."

    Thanks for the laugh, Anon 8:33!

    Jerkstore

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  29. "driving up here from DC to go to Home Depot, shopping, etc."

    It is actually "down and over here" rather than "up here."

    I'm trying to imagine what else is over there that draws people from the city... The Shoppers Food Warehouse? Nah. The REI? Probably. The Target? Probably.

    The two Panera Bread Companies? ABSOLUTELY! The outrageous traffic congestion? Nope.

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  30. "When I cross back over the river (this time into Alexandria) I can literally and figuratively breathe a sigh of relief."

    Did you know that Alexandria has the area's ONLY coal-burning electrical power production plant? Plenty of gnarly ole' housing projects in ole' town too (look into it) ... but nobody talks 'bout those.

    bryce

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  31. Bryce you are a snippy little one aren't you? I think you're just pissed David posted a picture of your house at 14th and K. Nice paint job. Either that or you voted for Dan Quayle and aren't over it yet.

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  32. ""When I cross back over the river (this time into Alexandria) I can literally and figuratively breathe a sigh of relief.""

    You're good enough to make a living in your nation's capital, and spend the better part of your waking hours there, but you're too good to actually live there? By what line of thought did you reach that conclusion?

    Quit your job in DC if it is as bad as you say. No? Not that bad, right?

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  33. "Bryce you are a snippy little one aren't you? "

    I'm not so little, actually. Although I suspect you would feel that way standing next to me.

    What's with the "DC" in your name? Lose it.

    bryce

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  34. The problem with DC is you pay higher taxes, get less public services, and don't have congressional representation. NOVA has better schools, better public services, and is safer. Also, the NOVA economy is stronger and there are move jobs out here. I do think DC has more character. NOVA is short on character and its only getting worse.

    How's that for "Fair and Balanced"

    NOVA Fence Sitter

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  35. NOVA FS, do you have children? I'm very familiar with Loudoun county, and I'd never send my children to Loudoun public schools.

    and, murdered dead bodies do have a way of turning up throughout the "NOVA" area on a regular basis. But you're right; there aren't as many as in the Capital of the United States.

    bryce

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  36. ""now DC is so freakin' cool, man""

    I quite literally, never said that. But thanks for inventing it. Very creative!

    bryce

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  37. Bryce - No kids and I don't live in Loudon. Yes murders do occur in NOVA - MS 13 is quite active if local news outlets are to be believed. The thing about DC is you have to really like DC to be motivated enough to live there - you obviously are so good for you. NOVA is for people who don't like hassals like myself.

    NOVA Fence Sitter

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  38. Old Town ResidentJune 02, 2006 5:20 PM

    Hmm.. 3 blocks of successful projects in Old Town or most of SE, SW and NE DC? Or do you not count those quadrants as being part of DC?

    And yep, if wanting to not be begged for change by a drunk man every evening on the way home to my $1350/month one bedroom (MassCourt again for example) and actually live in a neighborhood grocery store (not a convience store where I'd have to pay $4 for a loaf of bread), and having a neighborhood that is a real community that, yes, does in fact have a soul and where people know and like each other and are involved in the city and community life makes me too good for DC then I'm too good for DC. But really, I think that those are things that most people would like out of a neighborhood.

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  39. Old Town ResidentJune 02, 2006 5:22 PM

    make that "with a grocery store"

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  40. Old Town ResidentJune 02, 2006 5:25 PM

    d in dc--

    nope, a Mini. And I literally do pass condemed houses and get stuck waiting along H street. It's not ignorance--it's what happens.

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  41. make that "with a grocery store"

    By the way, there are three safeways, and other non-chain grocery stores, within a ten minute walk (or, say a 3 minute SUV drive) from my DC house. You can't see them from the highway, so you probably don't know anything about them. It looks like Old Town is beat by this measurement.

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  42. Old town resident,

    It's ignorant to presume that what you see along one street represents an entire city.

    And if you haven't yet noticed, the stop light beggers strategically postion themselves on the streets used by communters to Va. It's probably not a good business decsion on their part since most Va residents are GOP. But it does mean that these beggers are found nowhere else in the city. But again, you probably didn't know that either.

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  43. Old Town ResidentJune 02, 2006 5:33 PM

    Yeah, I lived in DC for a while in college and a good number of people I know still live in the District. I know where things are. I'm telling you, I have yet to be in a part of the city that is as resident-friendly as where I grew up, where I lived in Manhattan and where I live now. Maybe you've never lived anywhere else, maybe you don't mind the living situation. Either way, DC is just not a community type of place.

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  44. "nope, a Mini."

    Of course, the car for persons who are in between SUV purchases. I guess you thought that the Italian Job rocked.

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  45. old town resident,

    Don't take this the wrong way. I'm not defending DC per se. I live in DC now (and previously lived in NY-Bklyn Heights-as well as car-free cities in Europe). On a worldwide scale I'd rate DC as an average city, in fact I'm looking to leave soon. But, I take issue with anyone who claims that suburban Va, old town included, is better than DC. Even though I don't love DC, I dislike the suburbs for many reasons.

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  46. Old Town ResidentJune 02, 2006 5:43 PM

    Nope, not just from H street, I was just illustrating my commute. I generally don't tour the city on a nightly basis. But I have in the past spent most/all of my time in various parts of the District and my assessment still stands. And you can't pretend that your Dupont block represents all of DC either. In fact, my experiences on H Street are sadly more representative of what DC as a whole is like than most people want to admit--Yuppie NW residents especially who think that the other quadrants are a myth, or don't really "count".

    And most of Arlington and Alexandria are certainly not majority GOP. Maybe farther-out cities and counties, but that's the model of what America looks like.

    Alexandria (and I think Arlington too) has an entirely Dem City Council/Mayor (or whatever the Arlington equlivant is to those positions). Both went for Kerry. Both have more registered Democrats. I personally have worked/interned for, for anonymity's sake let's just say 2 of the top 10 liberal Dems in the House and volunteered on the Kerry and Gore campaigns.

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  47. On a worldwide scale I'd rate DC as an average city

    I agree. Bake that fact into housing prices and you find DC realestate is wildly over valued. Speculation and the global credit boom have pushed the prices to these unstainable levels.

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  48. "On a worldwide scale I'd rate DC as an average city"

    The DC area has always had its share of transients who talk this way. It used to be a much smaller percentage of the population, though. Things have gotten worse, and there are more of these insipid whiners.

    I'll give bryce this much, though: like Lereah, at least he drinks his own kool-aid.

    The funniest thing about these "DC is an average city" types these days is that many of them have paid triple "average" prices to live in or near this "average" city. LOL. I love this area, having grown up in Maryland (and bryce, I love Maryland more than DC, though I like DC too), but that doesn't mean that I would pay any price to "own" here.

    Meanwhile, I hear these transients whining that the weather is awful, you can't get this or that, the traffic is terrible (well, that's true- please help it out by leaving), can't wait to get back to some whiny Eurotrash capital or something, etc. And yet they just paid 600K for a townhouse on a busy suburban road or a rowhouse in a slum (urban or suburban).

    Oh well. It's their money (or their banks' money).

    A Redskins fan

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  49. "In fact, my experiences on H Street are sadly more representative of what DC as a whole is like than most people want to admit--Yuppie NW residents especially who think that the other quadrants are a myth, or don't really "count"."

    Old Town Guy, it's funny you should say that, because you're leaving out large swaths of Alexandria that positively sucks. The schools in Alexandria are terrible too.

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  50. How to lowball a seller...

    1. Put out lowball offers on multiple homes. If one bites you're ready to start dealing. Chances are if you put in a lowball offer all sellers will return with a number they feel comfortable with. (Which probably won't be close to your price) When they do show them what their neighbor is willing to sell for. There's a good chance when they see the neighbors number they'll try to go lower. This is the reverse of a bidding war. ;-)

    2. Here's the second way to lowball a sellers requires two buyers working together. The buyer that does not want the house to be lowballed submits a REALLY low offer. What this does is shock the seller into a new realty of what their house is worth. If the owners accept the offer you "gracefully" try to bow out but, while doing so have buyer number two submit an offer at the same price. The seller will forget about buyer one and sell to buyer two. If the owners don't accept the offer you play with them a little then get out. At this point you "softened" the seller up to accepting a lower offer. This is where buyer two comes in knowing how low the seller will go. ;-)

    *The second technique is something only buyers can do together (not agents) and it won't make friends if people find out about what your doing. So don't ever tell people how you got the house for the price you did.

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  51. If $1,500 in gift cards didn't entice you, maybe all you can eat crabs will.

    Mica Condos are now offering an all you can eat crab "party" in a few weeks. Is it just me, or is this getting funnier by the week?

    www.micacrabfeast.com

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  52. Proposition JoeJune 03, 2006 11:04 PM

    The hubris and arrogance is staggering. Have you guys taken a look at DC? It is damned cesspool. I think you have been in the stink so long you've forgotten what life is like outside of it. At some point in the very near future the budgets will stop growing and start shrinking, those living large off federal tax dollars will be facing a cruel reality. DC will revert to something that closely resembles the late 1980's cracktown/murder capital DC.

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  53. Japan has Tokyo.

    Italy has Rome.

    France has Paris.

    England has London.

    Burkina Faso has Ouagadougou.

    America has... DC?

    50th best city in America (if that).

    At least Mongolia's capital has the honesty of having cows graze in the city's main square.

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  54. John Kennedy said "Washington is a mixture of Northern Charm and Southern Efficiency." Personally, I like it a lot. But I live near the canal in Georgetown, can get to the golf course quickly and can walk to work every day. M St is a half block away in the evenings, and yet my street is pretty quiet. There is no, repeat no, crime at all anywhere around this neck of the woods. The city is low-rise and gracious, the Potomac River is lovely and the mall and monuments are minutes away and I see them every day. There is almost never any snow, and what there is of winter is both short and mild. There is an endless stream of interesting political activities available every day. For some it's not right, but to say that it is not one of America's most beautiful cities is a minority view at best.

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  55. Proposition JoeJune 04, 2006 8:49 AM

    I live near the canal in Georgetown, ... my street is pretty quiet. There is no, repeat no, crime at all...

    to say that it is not one of America's most beautiful cities is a minority view at best.

    Well perhaps your section of Georgetown is one of the nicer neighborhoods in the entire US. There may be a very good reason for RE to be very expensive there. The argument that Bryce lays out is that the entire area is so nice that high prices are justified everywhere. Bryce seems to claim that high RE valuation across all of DC are "baked in" value due to the intrinsic goodness of DC.

    That argument works for a small percentage of DC, however most of DC is marginal at best. High RE valuations in most of DC are not because DC is a great place to live, because clearly most areas of DC are not great places to live. The spring rally is a bust, prices are clearly headed down. They will probably bottom out in 2008/2009. Many parts of DC will revert to their true cracktown/murder capital status.

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  56. What stupid and foolish propositions by Joe.

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  57. michael and proposition joe are wrong. DC is a great city. I just don't believe that houses in and around it are worth nearly as much as they currently ask.

    It is fine with me if people bash DC or the DC area.... as long as they don't live in or around it. If you hate DC and/or its environs, please leave now. You'll make everyone happier. And whatever you do, don't get an ARM loan for a $600,000 property in a "cesspool" and then whine to no end about how DC isn't that great. Like I said, spare us all the trouble and just leave.

    A Redskins fan

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  58. Proposition JoeJune 04, 2006 10:57 AM

    Go to Detroit, Buffalo, and Baltimore and you will find people who firmly believe that their city is a great city and a wonderful place to live. Just because Bryce, redskins fan & fritz think DC is so wonderful doesn't mean a damn thing. You must compare DC to other capital cities around the world to come to an objective conclusion. Compared to London, Paris, etc, DC is clearly nowhere near the top of great cities. Perhaps it is better than Managua, Nicaragua, it least it has that. The "baked in" value theory of DC realestate is a fantasy.

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  59. proposition joe-

    I don't particularly care what you think, as long as you don't live in the DC area. If you do insist on living here, and think there is a greater city or area, please move there. You will be happier, and current DC-area residents will be also. At least I will.

    In the meantime, despite how much I like the area, I do think there is a raging housing bubble here.

    A Redskins fan

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  60. Our friends got 3 offers immediately for their condo in Arlington.

    So what, they got 3 low-ball offers, big deal.

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  61. "So what, they got 3 low-ball offers, big deal. "

    Nope. They were nice offers, and accepted one. First weekend. BUBBLEPWN3D!

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  62. DC has its issues, so does NOVA. I wouldn't recommend that anyone buy in either at the current prices. I lived in NOVA for a while, I currently live in DC.

    Income Tax are higher in DC, but Nova has that annoying personal property tax on cars. Plus, in DC there is no tax on groceries, prescription drugs, or utilities (http://www.bankrate.com/brm/itax/edit/state/profiles/state_tax_DC.asp).

    Commutes from Nova are longer than from DC, and with gas only trending upward, this will continue to be an edge DC will have over Nova.

    Nova has newer housing and neighborhoods, but a lot of new condos are going up in DC. The rehabbed rowhouses turn out much nicer than any McTownhome or McMansion in Nova.

    There are ghetto neighborhoods and nice neighborhoods in both, and crime does happen everywhere.

    Nova does have better public schools for the most part.

    Some people like Nova, some like DC. So what's the big deal? Everyone is different, and that's what makes life interesting.

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  63. Some people like Nova, some like DC. So what's the big deal? Everyone is different, and that's what makes life interesting.

    I raise my glass to you, steinravnik. It's about time somebody said it. I live in Maryland, and generally I feel the same way about your insights.

    The cheerleading about what city/area is better gets old really fast. It really is a personal preference -- two people can look at the exact same area/neighborhood and have two completely different opinions about it.

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