Friday, May 12, 2006

1013A Constitution Ave NE

The yellow alley house located at 1013A Constitution Avenue NE in Washington, DC is for sale at 399,000.

It has 2br, 1ba. MLS #: DC5387658

"New skylight & fresh paint!! Southern light fills this historic carriage house. Imagine the pleasure of unique space--love the look & the lure of brick flrs & two loft brs. Eloquent $ open: soaring ceiling w/wraparound loft. Superb storage! Has been held off mkt resolving title issue. Please settle @ eastern market/monarch title. Strictly limited edition!!"

I was there today and found this boarded up alley house located right next door. Those alleys must be great at night. According to ZipRealty it has been on the market for 239 days with no price reductions. Yikes.

Will it sell at 399K?

No way. The price needs to be reduced significantly.


  1. I'll take the boarded up alley house for $700K!

  2. Funny thing happened to me today. I was in a lounge at a local public educational facility. The TV was on, with some channel showing an infomercial. It was by some guy named something Allen, and he was selling some kind of way to make lots of money in real estate. He featured some family that had bought some house for something like 270K, and expected to sell it for something like 440. Then he showed some 11 year old kid who he claimed had made something like 40K off of a 2K investment. The 11 year old kid said his dream was to retire at 18 with a million dollars.

    I was gobsmacked, but then a janitor walked into the room. He saw me watching the TV and said "do you think everyone can get rich in real estate? NO WAY!!!!" he then answered his own question really loudly and started laughing. I told him that guy Allen could if you sent him your money, and he laughed and said "yeah, it's a con and the government is allowing it to happen!"

    So the word about the housing bubble is getting out there. Properties like this are running out of prospective fools with loans.

    A Redskins fan

  3. That guy is Robert Allen, and his whole attitude and way of going about things is beyond pathetic. I have been fortunate not to get sucked into one of his seminars. You can find a lot of upset people at about Robert Allen.

  4. Yeah, Robert G. Allen is THE GUY who created the whole "nothing down" movement even back before the Carlton Sheets ads started. Allen declared bankruptcy on July 10, 1996.

    You can read reviews of him and many other real estate gurus here.

  5. What's the right price and how can you tell?

  6. David,

    I'm not arguing that the alley house is very overpriced. But maybe you could look into the history of alley homes in our nation's capital and then post your findings here?

    Key words to help you zoom in on salient facts: Emancipated slaves. Also, when you have some foundational information relating to small houses for poor people in the 19th century, look into what similar houses are now selling for in Georgetown. Is there a bubble in Georgetown? Is a tiny house that sold for $1M in Georgetown in the late 80's going to fetch $100K next week? (hint, Georgetown was a notorious slum around the time this alley house was constructed. Look into it)

    Another thing to think about when discussing older DC dwellings: War of 1812. What effect did this war have on DC's housing stock? It wiped it out. The british burned everything, including the white house. A subsequent presidential order mandated that all new construction be made from brick. So when you look at homes constructed between 1812 and, lets say, 1905, what do you see? And how do those homes compare with what is being built in the MD and VA suburbs today?

    This is meant to be food for thought, not fodder for flame wars....


  7. David,

    Consider finding some examples for your posts that are a little less off-the-wall. Mainstream homes that have been on the market for 239 days would underscore your points better than these alley homes ever could; At least for those of us who know a couple of things about homes in DC.


  8. 150k..and I am being generous.

  9. bryce,

    Obviously this alley is no typical. I never claimed it was, and I doubt many others would think it is typical., It is a very small property.

  10. I actually did a walk through of that place back in February. The main knock on it is its size. It's basically the size of a large 1 bedroom apt and has a very unfriendly configuration. The 2nd bedroom is basically a small open loft area. But it'll find a buyer. A lot of people want to live along constitution ave and will make sacrifices to do so even if it means being halfway down the alley.