All this talk about investors and cash buyers artificially bidding up housing prices? Ignore it. It’s just talk. Especially to you, since buying’s not an option, because all your money goes to investors and cash buyers as rent. Now, how’d you like to own this pile of bricks in Washington for, like, a million bucks?
Think about the value: That’s a low 30-year mortgage payment of just $3,233 a month! After a 20 percent down payment of $190,000, of course. But look what you get: walls. And a roof. With, like, a thousand square feet. Bare feet. The perfect kind to park your cars in, free of clunky fetters like plumbing or air conditioning or heat or insulation or flooring or bedrooms or bathrooms or kitchens. “A developer’s dream!” the listing agent proclaims, with justifiable pride, because she has land to sell, and brother, don’t you need land? With potential? Guess what, Pharoah: If you have the labor force, this joint has that specialness: “Bring an architect with you to see the potential!”
Yes, built in 1921, this fine edifice was originally intended as what the old-timers call a “garage,” which is like a home, but without a place fit for full-time human habitation, unless you have one of those Pontiac Azteks that fits a tent in the hatch. I mean, you could try a VW camper, but I’m not sure it clears the roof of your new home, on its concrete isthmus in the alley somewhere behind Dupont. $900 grand, man! Jesus, have you called your mortgage broker yet?
Call her now. Give her this address: 0 21st Street Northwest, in the District of Columbia. Isn’t it charming and quirky in a Washington way? According to the listing agent, that’s not what you might call a “real street address,” because, well, alleyway garages weren’t really designed that way in 1921, a heady time of breakneck stock and land speculation not unlike our own. A time when the market ruled all, and the only thing that stood in the way of an innovator was the limit of his imagination and his available credit, and when has that ever steered anyone wrong?
According to Zillow, comparable “homes” in the area have gone for $200,000 (ha ha, sure) to $3.4 million (ching CHING). And prices in this white-hot market are expected to decline by only 1.8 percent next year. So LOCK IT IN. It’s zoned for residential apartment construction, this alleyway garage that may or may not have enough space around it to build up, into the towering heights where those power lines currently cross. And they don’t make land in Washington anymore, growing Washington, where a new horde of interns and fellows descends every year into the crumbling streets to serve our elected government-shrinking government workers, where buildings can’t go more than a few stories tall, and hey, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because big buildings usually require functional governments, and this is Washington we’re talking about.
Have you closed on this place yet? Come on, rube. Get out of the shallow end. Take off your damn water wings. Swim with the big dogs of hip urban real estate. You missed out on Bed-Stuy and Gowanus and Columbia Heights and Nopa and the Mission and Soma and Northern Liberties and Wynwood. Don’t miss out on this. You can make the Pile of Bricks Behind Dupont a thing. You can be the prince of PiBriBeDu.