Real Estate

It’s a baby crane…but it’s still a crane!

Smaller and medium size condo conversions are what you can expect to see for the D.C. condo market in 2011.  A few larger scale projects will test the pre- sale market and I think they will do well.

We’re very glad that several of our clients started small projects last year so that we DO have new condominiums and conversion opportunities for those in the market to buy. These projects include several small, boutique style and unique buildings at U Street, H Street, Eckington, Capitol Hill and more.

As you go around the city, you’re likely to see more and more dumpsters and construction activity. On some of the larger sites you will see surveyors and engineers assessing land for acquisition or planning.

Where’s the Real Estate Market Going Headed in 2011? This is the question that any buyer in today’s market should seek answers to as they are weighing a buying decision.  Factors are changes in interest rates, increased supply for foreclosures and employment.

I think it’s a huge opportunity for buyers to get top quality product in a world class city at prices that have dropped as much as 20%.  The current financing options are terrific, with FHA/VA loans available of up to 100% of the selling price. All of our clients that started projects in 2010 are finishing construction and delivering soon.  Many of our clients were opportunistic and acquired sites and buildings from banks and through foreclosure at attractive prices. Those savings are passed on to homebuyers that are ready to buy now in the first half of 2011.

The bottom line is that the builders and developers who survived the bubble have gained invaluable experience and their condominium options have continued to improve from both a features and pricing standpoint.

Here’s our take on popular D.C. neighborhoods to watch in 2011:

U Street – Howard Town Center and the former Atlantic Towers site will all be in planning mode. You’re likely to see progressively higher pricing as this corridor has turned into the place to be in D.C.  But with larger projects 18 months out, small buildings like the ones in our portfolio will be snapped up quickly.

Call one of our agents for the inside scoop on unannounced ULC projects

The Howard Theater in Shaw is now under construction and the O Street market project with a grocery store is back on track.  Several other larger projects are on the horizon.  This is a great place for the 2011 buyer to look.  While it’s been popular for years, Shaw has always has competed with U Street.  Now it’s taking on its own identity with the Convention Center and new hotel, great METRO access and its close proximity to downtown.

Call one of our agents for the inside scoop on unannounced ULC projects

LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale are showpieces for Victorian architecture and long community support.  Its main intersection, First St. and Rhode Island Ave., have slowly, thoughtfully and beautifully transformed into a neighborhood gathering and shopping spot.  Window Café, The Organic Market, the new Rustic Tavern and Brick Oven Pizza have helped create a delightful, quiet section of D.C.

Call one of our agents for the inside scoop on unannounced ULC projects

Eckington area has always attracted the urban dweller with its combination of Victorian architecture and industrial grit.  It’s got the right edge to it and attracts the hip urban buyer.   ULC has brokered dozens of projects in the area since our company first firmed.  Buyers have always loved the proximity to U street corridor for less money.  An additional bonus to recent buyers that have been content to walk to U Street for shopping have recently been delighted by the great food, grocery, and shopping that has sprung up between the two neighborhoods.

Call one of our agents for the inside scoop on unannounced ULC projects

NY Avenue METRO: It’s all about the massive commercial development that has already happened here and will continue at an impressive rate for the foreseeable future.  This will mean one thing…new workers will flood the area and many will seek housing options in the nearby neighborhoods.  This will likely push demand increasing popular choices for the savvy buyer.

Call one of our agents for the inside scoop on unannounced ULC projects

H Street is just one of the most dynamic and promising areas of the city.  The massive infrastructure improvements and new trolley will lead the transformation of this valuable area of the city.  Tree lined Victorian streets run perpendicular from a 20 block stretch of H Street, which is just hopping with nightlife, new club and restaurant openings, the Atlas theater , and of course, Gallaudet University.

Call one of our agents for the inside scoop on unannounced ULC projects

Trinidad – This area can only be described as a bargain.  H Street, NY Avenue METRO and the Farmers Market are all involved in major development and Trinidad is right there to benefit.  With prices at unheard of levels like 150K or less for 1 bedroom condos and townhouses in the 200k’s, this is a sleeper for the first time buyer.

Call one of our agents for the inside scoop on unannounced ULC projects

The H Street, Benning Road and Bladensburg Road interchange forms a hub connecting a huge section of the city. The Opportunity in this area is for the investment minded buyer.   The National Arboretum is a treasure and just a few minutes away.  It’s one of the few places where you can buy a 2 bedroom condo at The Renee for 189K, head out a few blocks away to dine and party all night in one of the trendier spots for the hipster crowd.

What you will start to see on H street is what we saw on U Street 10 years ago…an infusion of infrastructure and transit by the city followed by residential and retail development followed by restaurants and shopping amenities.  You will see that begin to show on H Street this year.

Call one of our agents for the inside scoop on unannounced ULC projects!

Capitol Hill East – The future development for this area is tremendous.  It has the Stadium/Armory METRO which is surrounded by acres of land where the grossly outdated RFK Stadium and DC Armory sit.  In DC a METRO site will be developed at some point.  And with the stadium/armory right there I think we will see it a lot sooner than some people think.

The Hill East development probable will lead way as it is furthest along in the development process.   Just the talk of its development has brought out buyers to this very well priced and very well located section of the city.

Columbia Heights Look for growth moving East and up and down Georgia Avenue.  An in the know buyer finds the Sherman Avenue and east to Georgia Avenue a no brainer.    Howard University owns a huge chunk on Sherman Ave which is also getting a dose of infrastructure improvements with a tree lined median and bike lanes.  Georgia Ave to the east is one of the few places in the city that has had several apartment buildings, charter schools and commercial buildings completed with more to come.  There’s several blocks between Sherman and Georgia where’s there are still sometimes some real bargains.

Petworth is an example of the Metro station has driven development and more is on the way as the resurgence of Georgia Avenue continues.  The recent announcement about a proposed Walmart at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Military will really anchor things to the north.  Easy access to Rock Creek Park, Friendship Heights and other popular NW neighborhoods make Petworth an attractive area.

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