Tuesday, December 29, 2015

313-317 R St NW, a row of vacancy

300block of R St NWI sorta kinda wrote about this section of vacant houses in "Mr. Squatter, I Salute You". Well Mr. Squatter has long moved on and I have seen these yellow houses, condos really, pop up on the real estate websites being for sale, and well doing nothing.
At the time I shot this photograph two guys were trying to take a look in the center yellow townhouse as it is for sale. They've mostly been for sale and if they weren't condos probably would have sold by now and not have the bright yellow stickers of vacancy.
Let's review: (Starting from the right going left)
313 R St NW, units 1 & 2 are owned by the 313 R St LLC. Since the LLC is at a residential address in Potomac, MD I'm sure if I spent a little more energy I could figure out one name behind the LLC, but since he or she or they only recently obtained the two units in the right most yellow Wardman house (yes, it is a Wardman) on October 16th of this year. It had been on the market for over 800 days and sold for $440k. According to a note "Condo Association is not warranted, this condo was changed to a single family home. The bank is selling this property ( As-Is. )" it is a single house again, maybe. Hopefully the new owner will shine it up and sell for a pretty penny.
315 R St NW, units 1 and 2 are owned by two different LLCs. Unit 1 is owned by MTGLQ INVESTORS LP. Unit 1 also happens to be for sale now for $359K. A quick look at the pictures and I am going to guess there is mold/water damage so a cash buying investor would need to pick this up and take care of the roof or whatever is causing the damage. The current owners bought it as a foreclosure this year on March 25th for $405K and tried to sell it in April for I guess $399K. I don't know what's up with that. Unit 2 is owned by 315 R St LLC, the address in Rockville is associated with an attorney's office. That LLC got their unit in April 2011 for $175K and are taxed at the residential rate. Neither units 1 or 2 are charged at the vacant rate. There appears to have been a tiny bump in how much the properties owed the city in 2011. If the LP and the LLC can get together, maybe they can offload these.
The last and left most yellow house in our group is 317 R St NW. Unit 1 lists Raonuito Salazar as the owner, but I have my doubts. The city tax database lists him as the owner, buying the property in 2008 for $650K (waaaay too much IMHO). However, Redfin lists the property as been sold in foreclosure Feb 24, 2015 for $467,500, and it is now for sale for $329,900 and has been on the market for over 100 days. It's another property with water and mold damage and needs a cash buyer who can deal with all that as you can't get a regular loan due to the funky messed up condo thing. Tax-wise this has a Class 3 exception, so it is not being charged at the vacant rate. Unit 2 has Zion Group LLC listed as the owner with a commercial address on Kenilworth Ave NE. I found QHI Construction associated with the address but the two could be unrelated. Unit 2 was purchased in 2009 for $438,400. Neither of these are paying the vacant rate but the property does have the vacant sticker on it.
When I get around to it I will report these to DCRA or somebody. None of these were listed on the 2015 Blighted or Vacant Buildings Lists.
I stand by what I wrote earlier, you don't need new laws, you need better enforcement.


Anonymous said...

Hello, Mari, I came across your blog, and I am interested in properties that you post. I belong to a group of African American property investors who are interested in purchasing vacant properties, especially properties in African-American communities, to help fight against gentrification. I would welcome the opportunity to speak to you about this further. I look forward to your response.

Mari said...

The difference between gentrifying and non-gentrifying neighborhoods is investment. Non-gentrifying neighborhoods have to have the city strong arm and nearly bribe businesses to invest in them. If you want to do well I would encourage you to invest in those current African American neighborhoods east of the river, like Congress Heights.

Sure fight gentrification in Shaw (where these properties are) if you manage to pull off the miracle of convincing someone to sell a vacant property at a price below what people more willing to make a profit will buy, then repair and make to code with all the market rate the expenses and charge below market rents and manage to make a profit for your investors with tax breaks, section 8, and the like, go for it. Other developers in the neighborhood are going that route but with city owned property. Our section of Shaw has islands of affordability (NW Co-ops I & II) which have done little to push back gentrification around it.

These properties require renovation and structural issues need addressing. The only thing I care about is if good neighbors get to live there, regardless if they are renters or owners. Regardless if they are middle class DINKS or subsidized, we all just want good neighbors.

Maryland Real Estate Wholesalers said...

Good Evening Mari,

I'm know I'm not the only one that has contacted you, but I'm a cash buyer investing in the DC market. I would love to speak to you about buying the properties you see that are vacant. I would love to chat about this.

James Green