A DC Row-House Gets a Rehab

The spring and summer of 2010 brought quite a bit of real estate activity to the Northern Virginia and DC market. And DC row-houses in need of renovation or rehabilitation have been no excepton. I say “have been” because some of this activity is ongoing.

With low prices, decease low interest rates, order and an $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit through May buyers were plentiful. Though there were, in fact, plenty of first time home buyers in Northern Virginia and DC, real estate investors were out in force as well, creating a near perfect storm of buyer competition. Because of this intense competition the expiration of the home buyer tax credit left many would be buyers out in the cold. However, for some, this simply brought about a better opportunity to succeed in their efforts to score a home, thus the pace did not really lessen in the DC row-house renovation market through the ensuing summer months.

Near the top of the target list for first time buyers and investors alike, DC row-houses found in conditions varying from simply dated to completely dilapidated, created a unique opportunity for near immediate equity. For those willing to brave multiple offers, multiple homes tried for, and had resources to renovate (or rehabilitate), jumping into this tier of the DC market came with a solid payoff.  Just as droves of buyers were looking for homes to renovate and make their own, or return to market, the number of buyers looking for a move-in-ready yet reasonably priced home was nearly as strong. So, side by side, the two buyer types have been feeding each other, and the market has responded in turn.

As is the case with clients of mine, many of these projects are ongoing, and homes needing renovation or rehabilitation in DC are still moving quickly. Though there are fewer such homes coming on the market these days, there are still opportunities out there for those who are prepared to make an offer, and prepared to compete with other buyers. It remains the case for many of these properties that you have to be completely prepared at first site, because that is all you will have time for. If you still have to get your finances in order after seeing the home, the biding will likely be over by the time you are ready.

So if a DC row-house has been your dream, however you don’t have a half a million dollars or more now, but you do have some vision, perhaps this renovation option is the right one for you.

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