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A miniseries in which we examine the Mystery of the Vacant Condo.
The property: 56 Galveston Place SW
The price: Two-bedroom condos from $124,900
The leasing agent: Rhonda Hamilton, Coldwell Banker Household Realty
Listed since: March 28, 2008
The story: Two and a half years ago, 56 Galveston Place was a shell of a building: gutted by fire and utterly unlivable. But when a new owner snagged the property for $250,000 (ballpark), the brick house became a four-unit, semi-luxe condo, complete with granite counters, central AC, and recessed and track lighting.
Last sale: Just over a year ago, two of the four newly renovated units sold, the more expensive one for $195,000.
Sweetening the pot: Hamilton says the last price adjustment came 90 days ago. “We dropped from the $159,000/149,000 price range down to $124,900,” shes says.
Sublet Me Not: Hamilton hasn’t held an open house at 56 Galveston for over a year—not since the owner was forced to sublet both remaining units to offset maintenance costs. “We’re trying to get at least one of the renters moved out prior to expiration of the listing,” Hamilton says. If she can get the renters to terminate their lease, impulsive buyers might get jazzed about being able to move in as soon as they like.
Commuted Sentence: The biggest turn-off for potential buyers? Hamilton says it’s the occasional decrepitude of Congress Heights—”the surrounding properties that are still lagging in terms of upkeep.”
“The most attractive feature of this property is that it’s commutable,” Hamilton says. “You’ve got access to the harbor as well as the access to downtown D.C. A lot of people don’t realize that it’s as convenient as it is.”