There’s been a lot of chatter today among DC bloggers about Megan McArdle’s post on Atlantic.com about the trouble she’s had in finding a house to purchase in the District.
DCist indicates that there are plenty of great houses for sale in the $1M+ range! With tongue planted firmly in cheek, I think. IMGoph at District Curmudgeon points out that there are plenty of great houses in neighborhoods whose lower desirability is probably over-inflated in the minds of buyers.
I think IMGoph and the commenters at both DCist and Atlantic.com have done a fine job expanding on and challenging McArdle’s points about neighborhood choice and the unusually strong tenant protections in DC, so I will just add my own anecdotal experience to the mix…
I actually giggled a little bit when McArdle complained that the well-priced houses were going under contract, on average, in a week. Because really, they stay on the market THAT LONG? When Tom and I were house-hunting, we were finding that anything on the market longer than 4 days was generally Unsold For A Reason. Houses in good condition in convenient neighborhoods and fair prices usually went under contract immediately after the first open house. You have to see the place and write your offer the same day.
That said, I’d agree with her that a lot of what’s available can’t be sold, but I don’t think it’s because recalcitrant tenants are the widespread problem that McArdle perceives. The market seems to be overrun by short sales, which are far more trouble than they’re worth in any neighborhood.