“A Pleasing Perspective From Every Angle”

Sears “Elmhurst” in Alexandria, VA

The “Elmhurst” was one of Sears Roebuck’s more unusual kit house models. For one thing, the Elmhurst’s asymmetrical and rather intricate floorplan and Tudor styling don’t give away its mail-order kit origins too easily. It’s also richer in detail than many other Sears homes of that size. And for the DC area, it has the amazing advantage that it truly fit in with the brick- and Tudor-loving taste of the 1930s here. You can see the historic ad copy below.

There are 3 known Elmhursts in the metro area: one in DC’s Forest Hills, one in Silver Spring, MD, and one in Alexandria, VA. The latter – a beautifully kept and renovated specimen – is on the market for $1,195,000 right now, and will have an open house from 2-4 pm this coming Sunday. It’s been on the market through the holidays, and we’re surprised it hasn’t sold yet. We thought it was really worth seeing–check out the photos!–, and was definitely adapted beautifully to a 21st-century lifestyle. Let us know if you need to get in on another day.

Page from the 1929 Sears and Roebuck catalog courtesy of Antique Home.

 

The fireplace in the the Sears “Elmhurst” in Alexandria today, after being enclosed in a new mantel …
… and as seen in the 1929 Sears catalog

The 4-digit stamp on a piece of lumber under the basement stairs proves the Elmhurst to be authentic and not a copy. The coded numbers helped put the giant kit together.

For extra fun, have a look at the Silver Spring and DC “Elmhursts” for comparison:

Authenticated Sears Elmhurst In Silver Spring, MD
Authenticated “Elmhurst” in DC

 

For my collection of historic kit houses currently for sale in the DC area, click here.

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In the following form, please tell us about your discoveries, any house history you can share, and let us know about any kit houses coming on the market:

Rock Creek Forest Homes for Sale

Happy December! Can you believe this weather?! As of December 21, we’ve got one active listing. The market should slow further down over the next 2+ weeks as many sellers take a time-out for the holidays. We can expect it to pick up again soon after the new year, weather allowing. All in all, while the market has been making steady gains, it’s considered slow given the uptick in the stock market and strong job growth. I’m guessing some buyers were holding off given the uncertainty with the tax plan (which is now resolved, but the fallout remains uncertain). Even more buyers, however, are frustrated with the current lack of properties to choose from. So if you are a potential seller considering a holiday launch, this might be a great opportunity!

To see a roster of RCF homes currently for sale  and those recently sold in 2017, and to find out why we’re so fond of Rock Creek Forest, scroll down in the box below:

 

 

 

RCF Sales ince September Closing Date Original List Price Sold Price Subsidy
8437 Freyman Drive 9/5/17 $659,000 $600,000  $2,350
8412 Ferrell Drive 9/7/17 $725,000 $725,000
2714 East West Hwy 9/27/17 $599,000 $595,000
2709 Colston Drive 10/27/17 $827,500 $805,000
2706 Blaine Drive 10/31/17 $995,000 $1,020,000
8417 Donnybrook Drive 11/14/17 $710,000 $699,900
2309 Ashboro Drive
11/30/17 $695,000 $695,000

 

Looking to buy or sell? Click here.

Winter Buyer? = Smart Move

There are a number of reasons why focusing your search in the winter months can be an excellent strategy.

1. You can save some $$. Sellers are more forgiving in the winter months. Yup, deals can be had mostly because sellers are exhausted from lingering on the market and are finally willing to bend some on their pricing. Per Zillow, those who buy a home during the peak selling months usually pay a premium of $1,500, but those who purchase homes in the off months paid $3,100 less than average.

2. Less competition. If you are moving within the same school district, or, if schools aren’t an issue, buying in the winter can do away with some of the competition. A lot of buyers time their search to the school calendar which is why the Spring market is always so busy.  Eliminate that criteria and you’ll have opportunities in every season. Lots of folks get distracted from their house hunting during the holidays, so November-January can be great months for serious buyers.

3. You are the star! Most real estate agents, mortgage brokers and settlement attorneys slow down during the holidays, meaning you will be the focus of all their attention. It’s your chance to be the only child. Embrace it!

4. Less to choose from. You would think that this is a bad thing, but some buyers are overwhelmed by all the offerings. If this is your M.O., then the winter market is for you!

If you’re in the market for a (winter) home, give us a call… we can help!

The All-American Americus

Foxhall kit house for rent
A 1925 “Americus” from Sears Roebuck currently for rent on Foxhall Rd in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of Harding Polk and Jennifer Drews of Compass via MLS

A Sears “Americus” that’s currently available for rent in DC’s Foxhall neighborhood reminded us how popular this particular model was in the 1920s. The mail-order company described it as a “fine home that any American can be proud of and be comfortable in.” If you chose this model, you were assured to buy a house that was “dignified, substantial” and would “never go ‘out of style’.”

This must have been a convincing pitch at the time, at least in the nation’s capital. The “Americus” was the one most popular kit house model built in town; there are nearly 20 surviving specimen known in DC, and several more in the close-in suburbs.

While its design is a basic square with a hipped roof and full-width front porch, the “Americus” also has the advantage of some characteristic elements that make it easy to spot. One of the bedrooms, for instance, extends into the porch roof — an unusual feature we’ve never seen in any other home. And there are those decorative triple brackets on all the corners of the roof and porch. The brackets have sometimes fallen victim to renovations, but you can usually see that top room jotting out.

The “Americus” was more of an end-user house even here in DC, documented by the fact that most of them were purchased by the people who would live in them (and many had original mortgages from Sears Roebuck). The Foxhall house, permitted in 1925, has seen numerous updates and expansions over time, but it still retains a bunch of original details that are fun to look at. Check out the gallery for some of those, and for more pictures of “Americus” kit houses in DC, Bethesda, Kensington and Takoma Park.

……

As always, if you’d like to see the rentable Americus, or any other home on the market, just give us a shout! (For my collection of historic kit houses currently for sale in the DC area, click here.) Happy Holidays!

Please use the form to tell us about your discoveries, about any house history you can share, or let us know about any kit houses coming on the market:

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Tax Reform for Homeowners

Now that the House and Senate have passed their own versions of tax reform, homeowners are wondering what’s next?  There’s no reason to panic just yet because we don’t know which version will be adopted. Furthermore, the majority of mortgage interest deductions won’t be affected anyway since the majority of mortgages are under $500,000. For the higher priced areas we certainly hope that the Senate version will prevail.

Here’s a breakdown on the legislation:

Deductions Senate Version  House Version
Capital Gains Exclusion Owner must have lived in the property for 5 of the last 8 years Same
Property Taxes Deduction limited to $10,000 Same
Mortgage Interest Deductions on loans up to $1-million Deductions on loans up to $500,000
State & Local Taxes Not deductible Same
Second Home Mortgages Not deductible Same
Moving Expenses Not deductible Same
Home Equity Line of Credit Not deductible Same
Interest on Student Loans Not deductible Same

The next step is for both sides to come to an agreement on a final bill. And then that bill needs to be voted on. It’s not too late to make your voice heard. Let your congress member know what you’re thinking! Click here for an easy way to contact them.

East Bethesda Homes for Sale 12/1/17

Happy December!  Can you believe this weather?! For those of you eagerly awaiting their East Bethesda update (now housed here–no pun intended), here we go: This week brings one new listing and two price reductions. The market should slow further down over the next 3-4 weeks as many sellers take a time-out for the holidays. We can expect it to pick up again soon after the new year, weather allowing.  All in all, while the market has been making steady gains, it’s considered slow given the uptick in the stock market and strong job growth. I’m guessing some buyers are holding off given the uncertainty with the tax plan (which may or may not be soon resolved). Even more buyers, however, are frustrated with the current lack of properties to choose from. So if you are a potential seller considering a holiday launch, this might be a great opportunity!

To see all homes currently for sale in East Bethesda, and to find out why we’re so fond of East Bethesda, scroll down in the box below:

 

 

Recent East Bethesda Sales Closing Date Original List Price Sold Price Subsidy
4617 Glenbrook Parkway 9/8/17 $649,000 $661,000
4613 Sleaford Road 9/25/17 $1,729,000 $1,627,000
8641 Terrace Garden Way 9/27/17 $1,350,000 $1,050,000
8201 Tilbury Street 10/2/17 $899,000 $840,000
4628 Chestnut Street 10/12/17 $1,395,000 $1,375,000 $6,750
4525 Sleaford Road 10/13/17 $1,149,000 $1,104,500 $4,000
4616 North Chelsea Lane 10/27/17 $835,000 $835,000
4625 Maple Avenue
11/29/17 $1,899,000 $1,735,000
4314 Chestnut Street 12/12/17 $749,900 $759,900
4616 Maple Avenue 12/15/17 $1,799,000 $1,700,000

 

If you like East Bethesda, you might enjoy reading some of my other posts:

2017 East Bethesda Home Sales

Top 10 Reasons to Live in East Bethesda

B-CC Cluster Schools

Walk to Bethesda Metro & Walk to NIH/Medical Center Metro

 

Looking to buy or sell? Click here.

(East Bethesda home depicted above not currently for sale.)

What The Windsor Went Through

Before & After pictures can be exciting – there is something so positive and encouraging about the potential (or the decay, or even the misguidedness) they show. The B & A here (with MLS pictures from August and November of 2017) isn’t quite as interesting as the comparison of this one to another home. They were two incarnations of what started out as pretty much the same house.  Earlier this month, we featured a sweet little time capsule in Woodridge – a more or less completely untouched Sears “Windsor.”  Today, we’ll show you one that was just flipped. Note: the fun lies in the listing slide shows.

The “Windsor” was one of the more modest “Modern Homes” models from Sears Roebuck & Co. There are 6 known Windsors in DC, and only one of them can be found in the NW quadrant. The 1926 specimen in Chillum sold this summer pre-emptively for $315,000, and it has now reemerged fully renovated, available for a stately 649,990. The modest exterior only held on to a few of the original details, but it also belies an airy interior. Quite lovely, actually, and it definitely beats having the house torn down! Yes, we know–there’s not much left of the old little mail-order bungalow beyond its bones, but sometimes, we’ll take what we can get.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether the faith of the Woodridge Windsor will be any better, or perhaps worse. It went under contract after the first weekend. We’re not sure whether the buyer was an end user, a builder, or a flipper.

……

As always, if you’d like to see the renovated Windsor, or any other home on the market, just give us a shout! (For my collection of historic kit houses currently for sale in the DC area, click here.)

Subscribe to our bi-annual kit house newsletter

* indicates required




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In the following form, please tell us about your discoveries, any house history you can share, and let us know about any kit houses coming on the market:

 

 

East Bethesda MD 20814 Homes for Sale 11/24/17

Well, Thanksgiving madness got in the way of my usual Friday post. Please forgive me!  No new East Bethesda listings. None under contract this week. One price reduction. You didn’t miss any open houses. Happy belated Thanksgiving!

All the homes in this article are currently for sale in East Bethesda. The top of the list features the newest listings while the bottom showcases those that have been on the market for quite some time. I’ll be posting updates every Friday, so be sure to check back to see what’s new, what’s gone, & what might be coming.

Why East Bethesda? I (Marcie) have lived in East Bethesda since 1995 and I’ve sold real estate in East Bethesda since 1999. It’s a wonderful neighborhood within walking distance of Bethesda Metro AND NIH/Walter Reed. While all of this information is available to you on the various search engines (and please keep in mind that these are not all of my own listings), I’ve taken the time to inject my opinion on the condition, pricing, and likelihood of each property selling… or not. I hope you’ll give me a call if you have any questions. I have loved living here over the years, and I want to share it with other enthusiastic people!

4605 Glenbrook Parkway, $1,375,000
5BR/4.5BAs. Built in 2004. Lot’s of space. Open kitchen. Finished basement with home theater and wet bar. Level yard. 1-car attached garage. Recent $75K price reduction. Listed with Coldwell Banker. Days on Market: 36
4602 Chase Avenue, $1,472,724
New construction home by Paramount. Many models to choose from. Price depends on size and finishes. Listed with Rory S. Coakley Realty, Inc. Days on Market: 36
4627 Chestnut Street, $1,899,900
2017 construction. 6BR/5.1BA. Sits on a 6,000 s.f. lot. Awfully convenient to Harris Teeter and metro. Nice deck and covered front porch. 200 s.f. larger than the one next door. Listed with Wydler Bros. Days on Market: 43
4621 Chestnut Street, $1,849,000
New construction with 6BR/5.1BA. Lots of space in neutral gray tones. Big basement. Fancy kitchen. Love the tile in the master bath. Unusually wide house. Interesting staircase… I like it! Listed with Wydler Bros. Days on Market: 63
4509 Gladwyne Drive, $815,000
Try to ignore the exterior paint colors, which are fun, but maybe a bit buyer specific. On the inside you’ll find an updated and quite modern setting with a cool stairway, interesting bath tile and a sleek kitchen. Pretty floors. 4BR/3FB. Listed with Century 21. Days on Market: 68
4504 Chestnut Street, $725,000
2BR/1FB on a 4,800 s.f. lot. Dated kitchen. Original baths. It’s a lot to pay for a 2BR home on a small lot. Listed with Re/Max. Days on Market: 72
4616 Maple Avenue, $1,749,900
Built in 2007, this house has won the location lottery. Tons of space, walkable to everything. 7BR/5.1BA. 6,000 s.f. lot. Nicely terraced backyard. Handsome kitchen. Open floor plan. Listed with Compass. Days on Market: 154
4537 North Chelsea Lane, $1,700,000
A new home will be built on this lot with 6BR/5.1BA. The lot measures 5,390 s.f.. The agent tells me it will likely list between $1.6 and $1.7 mil. Listed with Long & Foster. Days on Market: not officially on the market

Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

If you would like to take a look at any of these East Bethesda properties, give me a call. I’d be happy to arrange a tour.

RECENT SETTLED SALES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Recent East Bethesda Sales Closing Date Original List Price Sold Price Subsidy
4617 Glenbrook Parkway 9/8/17 $649,000 $661,000
4613 Sleaford Road 9/25/17 $1,729,000 $1,627,000
8641 Terrace Garden Way 9/27/17 $1,350,000 $1,050,000
8201 Tilbury Street 10/2/17 $899,000 $840,000
4628 Chestnut Street 10/12/17 $1,395,000 $1,375,000 $6,750
4525 Sleaford Road 10/13/17 $1,149,000 $1,104,500 $4,000
4616 North Chelsea Lane 10/27/17 $835,000 $835,000

 

If you like East Bethesda, you might enjoy reading some of my other posts:

2017 East Bethesda Home Sales

Top 10 Reasons to Live in East Bethesda

B-CC Cluster Schools

Walk to Bethesda Metro & Walk to NIH/Medical Center Metro

 

Looking to buy or sell? Click here.

Relive “Early American Qualities” Today

Colonial Village Shepherd Park homes for sale
2007 Plymouth St NW in DC’s Colonial Village neighborhood

It’s been one of my favorite streets in DC for a long time: Plymouth Street in the original part of Colonial Village, the section that gave the neighborhood its name. It’s a 1930s subdivision of about 90 homes that is surrounded by Rock Creek Park on three sides. The streets are unusually wide and have circles and park-like enclosures. All the original homes here were replicas of “Authentic Colonial Dwellings” of the period of the “Original Thirteen Colonies,” as a 1935 Washington Post advertisement explained. The insides of the homes, however, were state-of-the-art when they were built.

The house at 2007 Plymouth St NW, currently offered at $1,075,000, was one of those homes. It’s been updated and expanded since but offers an abundance of neat original details such as a total of 5 (4 original) fireplaces and beautiful library built-ins that were featured in the Evening Star’s real estate section when the home was built.

We’re holding it open today from 2 – 4 pm, so please stop by. Who do you know who is looking for a great Colonial Village home? For a current 2017 collection of Colonial Village homes (on the market or under contract) please click here.

 

East Bethesda MD 20814 Homes for Sale 11/17/17

No new listings. None under contract this week. One price reduction. One open house from 1-4pm on Sunday.

All the homes in this article are currently for sale in East Bethesda. The top of the list features the newest listings while the bottom showcases those that have been on the market for quite some time. I’ll be posting updates every Friday, so be sure to check back to see what’s new, what’s gone, & what might be coming.

Why East Bethesda? I (Marcie) have lived in East Bethesda since 1995 and I’ve sold real estate in East Bethesda since 1999. It’s a wonderful neighborhood within walking distance of Bethesda Metro AND NIH/Walter Reed. While all of this information is available to you on the various search engines (and please keep in mind that these are not all of my own listings), I’ve taken the time to inject my opinion on the condition, pricing, and likelihood of each property selling… or not. I hope you’ll give me a call if you have any questions. I have loved living here over the years, and I want to share it with other enthusiastic people!

4605 Glenbrook Parkway, $1,450,000
5BR/4.5BAs. Built in 2004. Lot’s of space. Open kitchen. Finished basement with home theater and wet bar. Level yard. 1-car attached garage. Listed with Coldwell Banker. Days on Market: 29
4602 Chase Avenue, $1,472,724
New construction home by Paramount. Many models to choose from. Price depends on size and finishes. Listed with Rory S. Coakley Realty, Inc. Days on Market: 30
4627 Chestnut Street, $1,899,900
2017 construction. 6BR/5.1BA. Sits on a 6,000 s.f. lot. Awfully convenient to Harris Teeter and metro. Nice deck and covered front porch. 200 s.f. larger than the one next door. Listed with Wydler Bros. Days on Market: 36
4621 Chestnut Street, $1,849,000
New construction with 6BR/5.1BA. Lots of space in neutral gray tones. Big basement. Fancy kitchen. Love the tile in the master bath. Unusually wide house. Interesting staircase… I like it! Listed with Wydler Bros. Days on Market: 56
4509 Gladwyne Drive, $815,000
Try to ignore the exterior paint colors, which are fun, but maybe a bit buyer specific. On the inside you’ll find an updated and quite modern setting with a cool stairway, interesting bath tile and a sleek kitchen. Pretty floors. 4BR/3FB. Recent $30K price reduction. Open Sunday 1-4pm. Listed with Century 21. Days on Market: 61
4504 Chestnut Street, $725,000
2BR/1FB on a 4,800 s.f. lot. Dated kitchen. Original baths. It’s a lot to pay for a 2BR home on a small lot. Listed with Re/Max. Days on Market: 65
4616 Maple Avenue, $1,749,900
Built in 2007, this house has won the location lottery. Tons of space, walkable to everything. 7BR/5.1BA. 6,000 s.f. lot. Nicely terraced backyard. Handsome kitchen. Open floor plan. Listed with Compass. Days on Market: 147
4537 North Chelsea Lane, $1,700,000
A new home will be built on this lot with 6BR/5.1BA. The lot measures 5,390 s.f.. The agent tells me it will likely list between $1.6 and $1.7 mil. Listed with Long & Foster. Days on Market: not officially on the market

Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

If you would like to take a look at any of these East Bethesda properties, give me a call. I’d be happy to arrange a tour.

RECENT SETTLED SALES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Recent East Bethesda Sales Closing Date Original List Price Sold Price Subsidy
4617 Glenbrook Parkway 9/8/17 $649,000 $661,000
4613 Sleaford Road 9/25/17 $1,729,000 $1,627,000
8641 Terrace Garden Way 9/27/17 $1,350,000 $1,050,000
8201 Tilbury Street 10/2/17 $899,000 $840,000
4628 Chestnut Street 10/12/17 $1,395,000 $1,375,000 $6,750
4525 Sleaford Road 10/13/17 $1,149,000 $1,104,500 $4,000
4616 North Chelsea Lane 10/27/17 $835,000 $835,000

 

If you like East Bethesda, you might enjoy reading some of my other posts:

2017 East Bethesda Home Sales

Top 10 Reasons to Live in East Bethesda

B-CC Cluster Schools

Walk to Bethesda Metro & Walk to NIH/Medical Center Metro

 

Looking to buy or sell? Click here.