May 08, 2010

City Paper Reports on 1922 Third Street

1922 Third StreetThe house and carriage house at 1992 Third Street are still on the market after Community Three Development withdrew its offer.  The Washington City Paper ran a story on the current owners’ woes in buying and now selling the property.  It turns out the current owners invested in the house in 2000 with a man who turned out to be a con-man.  After several legal battles with their partner, they were able to obtain the full title to the house and paid $75,000 to repair the carriage house roof, in addition to the expensive legal bills.

In April 2009 they decided to put the place on the market, but the offers fell through.  The City Paper writes,

She had four serious offers, but by then, amid widespread economic uncertainty, nobody could get a mortgage—even a tenured Howard University professor, she adds.

That’s not exactly true, though.  Having bought our LeDroit Park house in May 2009, we know from experience that it was certainly possible at that time to get a mortgage.  The problem was that it was difficult to get mortgages on overpriced properties or for buyers with poor credit.  Certainly these restrictions narrowed the field, but to say it was impossible to get a mortgage is an exaggeration.

Buyers interested in buying 1922 Third Street might want to consider an FHA 203(k) mortgage, a Federally-subsidized housing rehabilitation loan that combines the purchase and renovation costs into a single loan.  Only certain lenders are qualified to make these loans and these loans require a good deal of preparatory work (appraisals, inspections, estimates, permits, etc.), but they provide relatively affordable interest rates that regular construction loans rarely match.

Categories: 1922 Third Street, Development Projects

5 Replies

  1. I’m pretty certain that one cannot obtain a 203k on this property unless the sales price is far less than the current list price. I think the max price on a 203k is in the 700k range somewhere… I may be wrong, but I dont think so..

    Maybe not - May 10, 2010 @ 11:04 pm
  2. Good point. The FHA 203(k) maximum loan amounts for DC properties are

    $729,750 (single-family)
    $934,200 (two-unit)
    $1,129,250 (three-unit)
    $1,403,400 (four-unit)

    Eric Fidler - May 10, 2010 @ 11:26 pm
  3. The Seldmans need to understand that the only way they are going to move this property is at a much lower price due to all the development limitations. Epstein’s trial balloon for high density didn’t make it past the first hurdle. The buyer with any sense is not going to want to pay to make the Seldmans whole for all their mistakes and rose-colored lack of due diligence. There’s a similar disaster over in the 1800 block of 4th. Developer is way under water on that property and they’re waiting for a new buyer to bail them out. Ain’t gonna happen. Meanwhile the community suffers from chronic eyesores with rehab not on the horizon. Only way these properties are going to move if it someone is forced to take a loss. That’s a fact of life.

    Patrick - May 11, 2010 @ 10:23 am
  4. You must be partnered with Mr. Epstein. Who else would talk about the defeat of an overdevelopment plan as a limitation. Who in the neighborhood wants high density? You are trashtalking and telling folks it’s not worth the price. Please do not encourage lowball offers.
    This house is not a disaster or a chronic eyesore. The property (with carriage house) is a unique opportunity for somebody with creative vision and modest intentions.

    Laura Seldman - May 13, 2010 @ 3:04 pm
  5. And I so ask the Oracle speaking profitably for what’s left of the so-called intelligensia…….what do we need?

    More (genius) subsidized housing?

    blight eraser - May 26, 2010 @ 10:36 am

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