I’ve heard of all sorts of real estate blogs. Oh yes, there are blogs about Northern Virginia real estate, MoCo real estate, the real estate bubble. Housing blogs galore. But, an empty properties blog? Now, until this week, I had not heard about that. In my many months writing our weekly Buyers Market feature, I’ve talked to countless real estate agents. This week, one mentioned DC Vacant Properties to me. Given the context of our conversation, I can understand why this would pop into her brain.
This week’s property is a classic Petworth rowhouse. We’ve written about more than one of those. The concept of the feature—-to, each week, focus on a new home that has undergone a significant price reduction from its original listing price—-requires me to search out the sales that haven’t been too successful. But frankly, I’ve always wondered why the Petworth home prices plummeted to such lows. I mean the neighborhood has a Metro. It seems next in line to receive some attention and redevelopment (although we didn’t call it “Notyetworth” for nothing!) And even if it doesn’t get a surge of new businesses in the next couple of years, Columbia Heights is right next door, and that Target isn’t going anywhere.
So, what’s the deal? Why are the houses fetching below $500,000? Well, I remember attending an ANC meeting last fall, which sort of illuminated the subject. At some point, an attendee started complaining about vacant/nuisance properties on her street. Then, the discussion turned to bitching about streets loaded with Section 8 tenants.
People were not pleased. Oh god, that meeting could have lasted from sunset to sunrise, if the leaders hadn’t shut it down.
DC Vacant Properties seems to focus on the Shaw area, but Petworth could provide plenty of inspiration and material if anyone’s looking to launch a new site.