24 Jun 2011

If You Renovate It, Will Buyers Come?

dcreWilkieGuest contributor Jessica Wilkie is a Hill resident and Realtor with DCRealEstate.com.

In Trinidad, NE, they do.

Trinidad real estate has picked up lately as investors buy run-down properties for cash, fix them up, and turn them over for profit. This year,* average second quarter “sold” prices are already well above 2010 and 2009, when they remained flat at about $175K. Although we’re not quite finished with the quarter, they’re already at $232K for this year — a significant jump.

Trinidad suffered a blow in 2008 when a spate of violent crimes caused MPD to impose a Neighborhood Safety Zone, with police checkpoints stopping cars and checking IDs to make sure people had a reason to be there. Trinidad advocates at the time said that it was a good, close-knit community and did not deserve such treatment. Home sales were extremely low that year — only 17 sales took place in first half of 2008. However the number of sales doubled in ‘09 and increased again in 2010.

As the H Street corridor’s influence grows, it’s no wonder buyers are lured to the Trinidad neighborhood, which is close to all the action but still extremely affordable compared to most DC real estate prices. Where else can you buy a renovated 3-bedroom home with basement in the low 300s, even upper 200s? While H Street and much of Capitol Hill real estate prices have exceeded the comfort level of some entry-level buyers, an area like Trinidad is seen as an alternative.

While a loyal community base maintains the positive aspects of the neighborhood, the comfort level of some may be tested with still-existent crime. But let us hope that an improved real estate market helps the community continue to grow and become even stronger.

Buyers: expect competition — if you’re looking for a fixer-upper or a renovated home, they’ve been going quickly and sometimes for more than asking price.

Next time… what’s happening with the Capitol Hill condo market?

*Figures are from MRIS and deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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  • “Where else can you buy a renovated 3-bedroom home with basement in the low 300s, even upper 200s?”

    Rosedale. Closer to H than Trinidad, right on the new trolley line, and a stone’s throw from Historic Capitol Hill. It must be the most overlooked neighborhood in the city right now.

  • are those sales numbers for the actual neighborhood of trinidad, or for the “tax neighborhood”? if it’s the latter, they’re rather skewed, because that could include the carver langston neighborhood as well.

    and, i know i’m being a “homer” here, but while the man who was killed in his home last week is disturbing, crime in trinidad is no higher than many, many “desirable” neighborhoods in the city. compare the statistics with columbia heights and petworth, you’ll see that trinidad is not the crime-ridden place people say it is, even when they’re adding the “oh, it’s getting better” caveat.

    but it is getting better! 🙂

  • are those sales numbers for the actual neighborhood of trinidad, or for the “tax neighborhood”? if it’s the latter, they’re rather skewed, because that could include the carver langston neighborhood as well.

    and, i know i’m being a “homer” here, but while the man who was killed in his home last week is disturbing, crime in trinidad is no higher than many, many “desirable” neighborhoods in the city. compare the statistics with columbia heights and petworth, you’ll see that trinidad is not the crime-ridden place people say it is, even when they’re adding the “oh, it’s getting better” caveat.

    but it is getting better! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I agree with both comments, and I think Rosedale and Trinidad are both very affordable and have incredible potential. And I like both neighborhoods how they are. I would venture to say that Trinidad has prettier homes while Rosedale has a slightly better location.

    And yes I think crime in Trinidad is very reasonable.

  • Jessica Wilkie

    True -Rosedale is also a neighborhood with great value and extreme proximity to H Street. Tho I think HStreetLandlord has a point — Trinidad is a bit prettier with wider streets and more trees. @IMGoph- those were from the actual neighborhood of Trinidad.

  • Anonymous

    Trinidad area and then there’s the Gallaudet area both are just stone throw away from each other. I do believe the Trinidad area has a resurgence of sorts that is more appealing.

  • richardlayman

    It’s all relative. Of course people are going to move to close in neighborhoods to H Street as the housing supply is more expensive elsewhere and as the future streetcar comes closer to reality. They are going to be younger, likely without children, and more inclined to accept risk,

    Is this supposed to be a scintillating analysis?

    More interesting would be to graph the change in demand in Greater Capitol Hill over the past 30 years, along with expansion of the subway, but also change in trends.

    Over time, as infrastructure has improved, and demand increased, the area where people with choices are willing to live has constantly expanded outward since the late 1970s.

    It is coincident with rowhouse building stock, and likely with Rosedale and Trinidad, will meet a natural limit or boundary.

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