Sunday, December 11, 2005

1228 Walter St SE

1228 Walter Street SE is available for sale at 549K. It is in Washington, DC proper.

Map of location.

Here is the Craigslist posting

To see more pictures go this site.

It is located in a nice gentrified area east of Capitol Hill. Although, it is relatively near the gentrification frontier.

Aerial view of Walter St SE. Image taken from MSN Virtual Earth.

The property was bought on 1/29/2001 for 235K. Renovation was most probably done.

The real estate agent, Joe, was a friendly fellow. He was internet savy as he had built a website to market his properties. The house is very narrow at about 11.5 feet wide. I was in the house touring and chatting to Joe for about 20 minutes. No one came in to look. The house has been on the market for 20 day now. Apparently, 45 days is now the average for a similiarly priced house in this neighborhood.

One of the handouts was a sheet showing the 'monthly cost.' There were three examples 5%, 10%, 20% were the down payments. On all of three payment examples an 5/1 ARM /IO was taken out.

Click on image for large picture

Will is sell at 549K price? It is a pretty cute house located in a reasonably well gentrified area. However, 549K is high for such a small house in this neighborhood. The asking price needs to be reduced.


  1. that house is worth no more than 250 k...
    don't be a sucker ..

  2. Just came back from a newer condo building on 2020 12th Street NW in DC. There were 18 lockboxes on two bars outside the building where real estate agents hang the lockboxes for condos on sale. There was no room left on the two bars so this particular condo that I was seeing actually had its lockbox directly on its door (to the actual condo unit inside the building). When walking down the hallway I noticed one more lockbox hanging off the door know of another unit. And that was walking down just one wing of this 12-14 story building. Therefore just extrapolating: 18 lockboxes outside, 2 on each floor of the 14 (28) = 46 units on sale in one building alone! This is much worse that I thought.

  3. Well, it depends what you mean by "worse."

    I rent in the DC area, so sounds like a lot of great properties for me to choose from over the next five years.

    Thanks for all the reports.

  4. You're basically right about the SE property, David. It isn't bad, but the price should take a lot more into account.

    I'd be hesitant at 250. Maybe even at 200. At 180 or less, it's a buy.

  5. dc condo watcher,

    Thanks for the report. WOW! As bubble watchers have been noting prices fro condos will fall even more percentage wise then single family homes

  6. Just as an update to my previous post regarding 2020 12th Street NW, the particular unit I saw was unit #T-10, a terrace level unit (which means it lies about 50% below grade - i.e., no sunlight). Just as astonishing is the number of units on sale at this building, is the astounding greed prevelant in the DC market.

    This unit was purchased in 9/2005 for $269K, and now the seller wants $395K. That approximates to a $126K profit (minus selling fees of 6%). I am certain that the owner did not put any money in the unit because it's brand new and advertised as "never lived in". I can tell that everything there was "stock".

  7. This is all good stuff. I can comment intelligently (for once) because this is the neighborhood I live in and know well.

    First, I live almost directly in between the house David posted in the 1800 block of D Street, and the Walter Street house. They are about 1/2 mile apart.

    My house is also halfway between these two in size - I have 2 bedrooms, 2 and 1/2 bathrooms, a full basement, deep front yard and a fenced-in back yard. My house is probably 8 feet wider than Walter Street. My house was fully renovated in 2002 and has efficient appliances, a fireplace, granite kitchen countertops and all that jazz. It's a nice house, I like it.

    My rent: $1,750.

    Anyone with a fourth grade education in arithmetic ought to be able to understand that something is very, very, wrong. In the Walter Street cost chart, you can see that the cheapest monthly option is about 150% of my rent. That is with a 5/1 ARM, interest-only mortgage and does not reflect the opportunity cost of a 20% downpayment of $110,000. At current (very low) interest rates, that down payment would double, twice, over the thirty year mortgage period. So, if you buy $110,000 worth of treasury bonds, the most conservative of all investments, you would have $480,000 after thirty years, assuming interest rates NEVER go up.

    I guess my point is that although Walter Street is appealing in that it is cute and relatively safe, you would have to be a complete, drooling idiot to pay a half million dollars for a house there.

    There are not words to describe the guy who buys the one on D Street, because it is indeed the frontier. I would buy it for 200K, tops.

    Our neighborhood is infested with speculators who bought high, and renovated higher. As houses sit on the market longer and longer, they are going to get killed.

    The silver lining is that a lot of older housing stock will have got renovated and become affordable again. And I can't wait!

    Thanks, David, for all you work with this blog. And sorry for rambling on...

  8. to all commentators,

    Thanks for all the valuable information. I learn so much from you all. :-) Much appreciated.

  9. To DC condo watcher, About all the lockboxes you see on buildings. As a DC area Realtor, I can tell you from experience that lockboxes are not only on a building because something is "for sale". We also use them for maintainance people, repair contractors, property management, rentals, etc.,etc.,etc. A lockbox will still be on a building when the unit is Under Contract (for inspections and walkthrus) Some Realtors leave them on long after the particular sale has closed, because they forget to take them off. My point is, the number of lockboxes on a building does not necessarily reflect the amount of condos for sale!

  10. this property sold for $517K.