Edgemoor Solds

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Washington DC Real Estate Rockin’ – Kinda

Washington DC Real Estate Showing Growth on Year Over Year Gaings – Today’s S&P Case Schiller Release:

Those who have been reading here lately — or followed my commentary on one of Denver’s top real estate blog spots, CherryCreekToday.com (Cherry Creek’s commercial corridor is kinda like a larger version of Friendships Heights for those who care!),  know my feelings about the large area studies. Washington DC real estate….no…REAL ESTATE is a study in “micro-markets.” Regardless, Gretchen (Greater Bethesda Real Estate Maven!) reported on Today’s S&P Case Schiller release so wanted to send you on over to her post on our Greater Bethesda-centric blog over at Koitzgroup.com if you were interested in a little reporting and analysis.

Update July/21/2013:  Two years later, I found this post and wanted to remind you that good news is good news but just remember to take some of it with a couple grains of salt :-).  Reference my thoughts on on LuxuryBethesdaRealEstate, DC Real Estate is “Healthiest Markets” In 2011: Why It Doesn’t Matter?

Washington DC at Dusk

The Residences at The Ritz Condos, The W, & More Micro Markets

The W Residences Not In Bethesda

This is another recycled post but since we’ve been diving into micro-markets lately, and it came to mind today I wanted to share the concept on at a luxury level. I was speaking with a friend last night, Incredibly smart guy who just purchased a condo in DC. And having supreme intelligence, he chose to work with me 🙂 We spoke at length about the micro-market during the process, and now, a month removed, we revisited the topic.

“Just Econ 101”, he told me…and that’s precisely the point…

From November 14th, 2009

The Rise of The Hotel Residence in DC & Greater Bethesda

Well not in reality…yet. And yes, with so many Greater Bethesda condos in the pipeline, do we need…can we absorb another? — that always always depends on timing and location. A boutique hotel with a few residential condo units would be a perfect match for Downtown Bethesda. Whatever, whenever is the W’s slogan right? Well now we have the “wherever”…..so whenever you’re ready!

Washington DC isn’t “W Hotel free” — situated at 515 15th Street NW, President Obama could take a few minute stroll to Washington DC’s W. But I’m talking about W Hotel and Residences.

My argument (and I’m right!):  Every area has slightly different housing needs — and if there’s one type of property the Greater Bethesda area is begging for, it’s the 2000 sq. ft.+ luxury condo. In this particular case, I picture a Boutique W, with approximately 40 hotels rooms and 30 residences…all 2000-5000+ square foot units (the residences, that is). The upscale Hotel / Residence is the opitome of the “lock and leave” convenience, with the “resort style” living many are asking for.

Just Look At Residences at The Ritz in Georgetown

The only other comparable Hotel/Residence in the DC Metro area is The Georgetown, DC Residences at Ritz Carlton …and what did we learn from those 28 units?….

When you actually build products that the public is demanding (think baby boomers with money), they sell…regardless of the market. This past March wasn’t a wonderful time for Washinton DC real estate –!but that didn’t stop one of the Penthouse units at the Georgetown Ritz to sell for over $7M…a record for a DC condo.

I know the prices and condo fees that would come with a Residence/Hotel would stretch most Washingtonian’s pocket book. But if you built it in Downtown Bethesda (and many areas in DC, Northern Virginia…) they would most certainly come…

I look at this in retrospect, and now, with developers still pushing  “the density model”.  That is, a “just stuff as many 1 bedrooms as you can into a square box mentality”, I just want to know who’s actually doing some research?

Greater Bethesda / DC Developers — Just Ask Yourselves, “where’s the demand”?…You Figure That Out, and You’ll Sell in ANY Market

I respectfully ask Polinger Development (not picking on you guys, you just happen to be doing a lot of the immediate work in Downtown Bethesda), to give me 10 minutes. Better yet, let me design your next development — I’m not an architects but I’m great with a Pen and a napkin.   You all seem h#ll heck bent on making the same mind numbing mistakes over…and over again.

  • Get your eyes away from that very narrow lens
  • Do some market research…
  • Call me if you’d like (seriously) – 301-254-6576.

I hope you’d learn that it’s not if you build it, they will come” rather if you build what they want, they will come.”

Thoughts?

DC Real Estate is “Healthiest Markets” In 2011: Why It Doesn’t Matter?

Washington DC Is On a Real Role? Or just “media smoke and mirrors”…

Hot off the presses, a Forbes Article declared Washington DC the “US city to see the most appreciation in 2011”. From the recent S&P Case/Schiller index, to DC’s recent International real estate investment attraction , it’s been a great week for DC real estate in the press….so what?

Let me clarify: if agents tell you “it’s a great time to buy in the Washington DC”, they better qualify that assertion….Like “what DC Neighborhoods or enclaves”….”what kind of properties are value buys” 🙂

For those who have followed either Gretchen or me for the last 3+ years (on blog, that is!), you know we take these National “Mega-tropoles” or city real estate market market reports with a grain of salt.

The Reason Why?  Real estate can only be responsibly measured by examining micro-markets:

 

Georgetown DC Townhomes
Georgetown DC Townhomes is an example of a micro-market, one that has fared well through the “melt-down”

Read The Micro-Market Defined & How it Pertains To Washington DC Real Estate


Gretchen Koitz (Nov 30th -2007) >> Greater Bethesda & NW DC Condos Needing To Go Big

Gretchen’s Quote This Week: AOL Real Estate >> “White House Real Estate Value Drops

Continue reading “DC Real Estate is “Healthiest Markets” In 2011: Why It Doesn’t Matter?”

Location, Location, LOCATION WITHING A LOCATION

I didn’t quite get that right did I?….or did I? I think I nailed it in my humble opinion…

I remember when “location within a location” became relevant again. I can even remember the first time I said it. I was showing several high end Bethesda condos in the same development a couple years ago. It was mid 2006, a year removed from the madness of 2nd quarter 2005 (some of you remember that time;when you had to write a contingent free offer, escalate tens of thousands of dollars above asking price, and give away your first born child for a chance at getting that home :- ).

So, back to showing the condos: brand new, well laid out, and nice finishes…..all around one of the better developments in the Bethesda area. But the market had slowed a bit, my client knew it (I made sure he did!), and the developer knew it too. So when it was time to decide on two very similar units on different tiers of the building at relatively comparable price-points, my client turned to me and asked:

“Which one do you think?”.

Because it wasn’t an investment property or anything my client was planning on moving out of for the foreseeable future, I suggested he choose the one that felt most like home.

“But which one has more value?”, he insisted.

It was by no means a roll your eyes kind of question. I told him if he was happy with both, he should buy the top floor unit with the western exposure. It was $30K more than a similar unit facing east towards a busy road.  The question of “value” became synonymous with “marketability” and that’s where we discussed the concept of the Bethesda Condo Micro Markets. That is, we were past the point where the market demanded a “take what you can get mentality”. On the contrary, in this new real estate environment, there was a time to analyze values on much smaller scales. It wasn’t just the price per square foot, instead it was a combination of a lot of small things…not the least of which was the location within the building that would make for a more saleable unit in the future.

There are many downtown Bethesda condo units but very few with un-obstructed, western exposures. There are many other examples of micro-markets and most have to do with demographics, supply, and demand… just a little Econ 101. For example, there’s a crying need in Bethesda for larger condo units or homes designed with one-story living in mind.

The picture above is a little dark, but it was taken this evening from a family friend’s home in Bethesda. It reminded me of my client and reminded me to kindly remind everyone that even in a market of “bargains”, it’s important to continue to analyze that micro-market. It’s not just the building, it’s not just the street and it’s certainly not just the price…instead, it’s combination of all the little pieces that make up value in our daily lives….like a sunset!

**Oh, in case you were wondering, my client ended up going with the unit with the Western exposures.