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Washington DC real estate news, market data and new construction project highlights.
DC real estate market data

Washington DC Market Update

New Condo & Co-Op Market Data July 2017

Here’s the market data snapshot for the past month:

The median sold price for Condo & Coop properties in Washington DC during the month of July was $447,500, which is down 3.2% compared to last month and 2.7% lower than July 2016. Days On Market (DOM) was 30 days, 8% below the 5-year July average of 33 days. There was a 16.3% MoM decrease in new contract activity with 389 New Pendings; a 7.2% MoM decrease in All Pendings (new contracts + contracts carried over from June) to 538; and an 11.1% decrease in supply to 649 active units.

This activity resulted in a Contract Ratio of 0.83 pendings per active listing, up from 0.79 in June and a decrease from 0.97 in July 2016. The Contract Ratio is 6% lower than the 5-year July average of 0.88. A higher Contract Ratio signifies a relative increase in contract activity compared to supply, and indicates the market is moving in the seller’s favor. A lower Contract Ratio signifies a relative decrease in contract activity compared to supply, and indicates the market is moving in the buyer’s favor.  —RBI

How did your neighborhood and home type fare?

Community Forklift Chief Exec Nancy Meyer

Community Forklift Chief Executive Nancy Meyer

Community Forklift – “We recapture the value of materials, and the value of people” 

Community Forklift’s 34,000-square-foot store looks like the treasure chamber of an Egyptian pharaoh’s tomb, if that pharaoh had a penchant for mid-century modern furniture and home repair supplies.

Giant slabs of milled wood, stacked cans of recycled paint, and doors and windows of all shapes and sizes form a maze of intersecting rows. Hundreds of pieces of furniture — oak writing desks and ergonomic office chairs — fit together in a complex game of Jenga.

There’s no telling what you might find at the Hyattsville-area nonprofit reuse center on any given day.

Read the full story: WaPo

New Credit Scoring Bill

New Bipartisan Senate Bill Promotes Alternative Credit Scoring

A new Senate companion bill to the Credit Score Competition Act, reintroduced in Congress earlier this year by Ed Royce (R-California), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), and Terri Sewell (D-Alabama), requires Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to utilize alternative credit scoring models with the goal of ending the FICO monopoly and allowing more Americans to purchase a home. The bill was originally introduced in 2015.

Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are sponsoring the Senate version, which would allow lenders to use alternative credit scores when assessing consumers’ qualification for a mortgage loan.

Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require lenders to utilize scoring models developed using aged data (1995 to 2000). Experts say this disqualifies borrowers without a credit score and heavily penalizes many for less than perfect credit scores. The Credit Score Competition Act authorizes the FHFA to set standards and criteria for validation and approval of credit scoring models.

Read the full story at Housing Wire

mortgage lending

Fannie Mae Loosens Lending Guidelines

Fannie Mae Loosens Lending Guidelines

Starting on July 29th, the DU 10.1 release makes the following changes:

  • 50% Maximum Debt-To-Income ratio (DITI)
    • 50% DTI requires very high credit scores + post-closing cash reserves
  • One year’s tax return sufficient for most self-employed borrowers to qualify
  • The following disputed trade lines are not required to be resolved:
    • Disputed Medical collections

There may be additional changes and conditions. Check with your lender to see how they affect you.

Freddie Mac Tightens Lending Guidelines

Freddie Mac Tightens Lending Guidelines

Freddie Mac announced that it will no longer purchase some low-down-payment mortgage loans with lender contributions. For example, these programs allow a lender to reduce the required minimum down payment on a Freddie Mac “Home Possible Advantage” loan from 3% to just 1%. The two percentage-point difference is provided by the lender as a gift.

Now, borrowers will need a downpayment of at least 3% of the value of the house from personal resources. These resources can still include gifts from family members. Lenders may only use points to provide grants or gifts after the minimum investment of 3% has been made by the borrower.

Read the full story at The Washington Post

Wire Fraud

How Does Wire Fraud Affect You?

Protect Yourself From Wire Fraud

Wire fraud attempts are surging in the U.S. according to a recent FBI Advisory. These attacks, in the form of email hacks and phishing schemes, have increased dramatically from 2013 to 2017. The Bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center  reports an unprecedented number of attempts globally, especially via emails purporting to be from trusted business associates. They estimate the value of the targeted funds at $5.3 billion USD, but some experts say it could be double that amount. Wire transfers are common in real estate transactions. It’s important to know what the threats are and how to protect yourself against them.

TOPA Bill Seeks To Curb Abuse

New TOPA Bill Seeks To Curb Abuse

Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau has proposed legislation to exempt single family homes used as primary residences from a portion of the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act.

TOPA was enacted in 1980 law to provides tenants with right of first refusal when the property they rent is listed for sale. Current law allows tenants to sell their rights to third parties. Abuses of that practice have led sellers and listing agents to term TOPA ‘legalized blackmail.’

The bill would prevent tenants from selling/assigning rights on the specified property type and shorten the time period these tenants have to act on their right of first refusal.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Councilmembers Grosso, Cheh and Allen, along with Council Chairman Mendelson. The DC Association of Realtors supports the legislation.

Here’s a copy of the bill. A public hearing is set for September 21st.

DC Real Estate Tools Home Search

Learn About Capital Gains Taxes

What Do You Know About Capital Gains Taxes?

Profit from selling an asset is called a capital gain and these profits are typically taxed. This includes the sale of a residence. You may qualify to exclude up to $250k of the profit as an individual and up to $500k if you file a joint return. Find out if your home sale is subject to Capital Gains tax.


Why Are "Flips" Worrisome?

Why Are “Flips” Worrisome?

Beware: The house you flip for may be a dog, not a unicorn. And that’s giving dogs a bad name. “Flips” are homes that have been purchased by a rehabber and “improved” for quick resale. Unfortunately, a good number of flippers focus more on cosmetic aspects of the home and less on its structural integrity or soundness of electrical, plumbing and mechanical elements. Their goals are speed and profit, not care and concern. And that’s the good news. Some unscrupulous DC and NVA flippers have been caught drywalling over serious structural issues that later became homeowner nightmares. While some flippers do a good job, flips are an area of great concern and should be approached with extreme caution. Their popularity has exploded in DC in the last decade, as have the number of serious construction issues and lawsuits. With little regulatory oversight for permitted and unpermitted residential construction in DC, bad behavior can be commonplace. Remember, anyone can decide to start flipping houses, whether they are qualified or not. Permits may or may not be pulled, and in our experience, DCRA inspections are often ignored. Often the properties are held in an LLC to limit liability, so there may be limited legal recourse if you experience problems. Flips are classified as renovations rather than ground-up construction, so they’re subject to spotty DCRA permitting and inspection rather than the much more rigorous building code new projects are expected to adhere to.

DC Construction Permit

DCRA's New Online Permit Site

Get Your DCRA Permit Application Submitted Online

DCRA has upgraded its Online Construction Permit system to allow applicants to obtain permits online from start to finish. No further need for those fun trips to the DCRA office! Included are permits for intermediate and complex jobs. Simply upload plans through the ProjectDox system, pay, and obtain your new permit copy. Questions? Check out the  OCPI User Guide.


Kipling House

Kipling House Starting Sales

Kipling House is a 4 story, 48 unit condominium  constructed across two lots previously used as a parking lot and auto service station. Kipling House is located between Potomac Avenue and Barrack’s Row in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington DC. Sales start in early summer 2017

THE BOWER Navy Yard development

The Bower

The Bower is Under Construction

The Bower is a new 138 – 142 unit luxury condominium housed in a 10 story mixed-use building in the Navy Yard neighborhood of southeast DC. The project is currently under construction.

1309 Q Street #1

1309 Q Street #1 Just Sold

Just Sold by The Isaacs Team LLC

1309 Q Street #1 is a huge two bedroom + den, 2.5 bath residence one block from 14th Street in Logan Circle. Features include a massive, light living & entertaining floor, 10′-12′ ceilings, vintage hardwood floors, two fireplaces, chef’s kitchen, exposed brick stairwell, powder room, private outdoor space & secure parking. Sold at $1,325,000.

1808 Corcoran Just Sold

Under Contract in Zero Days by The Isaacs Team LLC

1808 Corcoran is a stylish two bedroom, two bath residence 2.5 blocks from Dupont Circle. Features include a full finished basement, charming patio garden and fun finishes. Sold at the record price of $950,000.

1111 25th Street #304

1111 25th #304 Under Contract

Under Contract by The Isaacs Team LLC

1111 25th Street #304 is a one bedroom + den, one bath, 835 Sf condo at The Atlas in desirable West End. Live in the center of everything, steps from Trader Joe’s, surrounded by high-end retail and restaurants, blocks from Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom, just across the bridge from Georgetown. Listed at $530,000

3900 Watson Place B1E

3900 Watson Place #B1E Under Contract

Under Contract by The Isaacs Team LLC

3900 Watson Place #B1E offers two spacious bedrooms, two baths, 1250 Sf of living space and a large balcony overlooking green space. This light and open co-op sits on five acres of lush landscape in upscale Observatory Circle. The community is located adjacent to Glover Archibald park, a short commute to Georgetown, West End and Dupont Circle. Convenient to Wisconsin Ave. retail, including Whole Foods and Cathedral Commons. Listed at $432,900.

DC Development

Washington DC Development

What’s Going Up in the District?

Washington DC is bursting with new construction, a boon for frustrated condo buyers who are encountering tight inventory in the resale market. The WestLight released their first luxury condo offering in November, Elysium Logan is beginning pre-sales on their luxury condo project off 14th on Rhode Island Avenue, 2501 M construction is progressing in West End, and The Adele will begin pre-sales in early 2017. There are many new DC real estate development projects, from boutique to large-scale, in various stages of development throughout the District. See what’s going up in your neighborhood!


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Serving the neighborhoods of Northwest DC, Northeast DC, Southeast DC and Southwest DC including Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Crestwood, Capitol Hill, H Street, Kalorama, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights, Georgetown, West End, Burleith, Foggy Bottom, Shaw, LeDroit Park, Bloomingdale, U Street, Penn Quarter, Mt. Vernon Triangle, Palisades, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, Barnaby Woods, American University Park, Observatory Circle, Forest Hills, Woodley Park, FoxHall, 14th Street Corridor, U Street Corridor, Meridian Hill, Hill East, Barracks Row, Eastern Market and portions of Northern Virginia including Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Great Falls, Fairfax, Vienna and Falls Church.
Information on this site is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. Realtors are not CPAs or attorneys and therefore not permitted to give tax or legal advice or interpretations. Refer to a tax or legal professional for all related matters. Any information provided on this site pertaining to such issues is not intended as tax or legal advice and is provided solely for the purpose of illustration. Resources cited are believed to be reliable but are not guaranteed and are subject to change without notice.
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