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JBG's Wardman Tower condos in Woodley Park are really gorgeous. And really expensive. By Marisa M. Kashino
A view of the living and dining areas. The building's amenities include a 2,000-square-foot gym with a yoga studio, rooftop terraces with monument views, and a library. Renderings courtesy of the JBG Companies.

When the JBG Companies announced last year that it would renovate Woodley Park's historic Wardman Tower into luxury condos, the projected price range for the 32 units was $2 million to $8 million. Hard to believe, but that estimate was apparently conservative. The prolific Washington developer, in partnership with NASH, a US subsidiary of Japanese builder Sekisui House, opened sales today, and according to McWilliams Ballard, the condos are listed for $3 million to $9 million. The current record-holder for most expensive condo ever sold in the Washington-metro area is a penthouse at the Parc Somerset in Chevy Chase, which went for $8.65 million.

Can Wardman Tower beat it? We think there's strong evidence that it can. First of all, there's its location. The building, nestled next to the Marriott Wardman Park hotel, is steps from the Woodley Park metro and mere minutes from the heart of downtown DC. In other words, it's close to the walkable dining, cultural institutions, and shopping for which many wealthy empty-nesters in burbs like Potomac and McLean are eager to trade their mansions. The tower is also loaded with history—no fewer than three US Presidents: Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, and Herbert Hoover— have lived there, and the remodel was designed by prominent New York architecture firm, Deborah Berke Partners. But the best argument might be the renderings, which you can ogle below.

The units, ranging from two- to four-bedrooms and 2,200 to 4,600 square feet, are slated for completion next year, but potential buyers can tour a finished model now.

An exterior shot of the penthouse.
Every unit will have six-inch, oak plank flooring, done in a herringbone pattern in the living room and gallery (shown).
Kitchen finishes include polished quartz counters, marble backsplashes, and chrome fixtures.
The building’s front entrance.

Posted at 02:16 PM/ET, 11/12/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph courtesy TTR Sotheby's.

Home-buyers looking to splurge on a house in DC have more neighborhoods than ever to look at these days, thanks to a real-estate market that seems to be immune from cooling off. A quick search of current listings turns up handfuls of houses listing for more than $1 million in places like Shaw, Columbia Heights, and H St., Northeast, complementing the pockets of upper Northwest that have long stood as the District's priciest enclaves.

In fact, there are so many houses hitting seven figures now, the city might need to redefine its benchmark for luxury housing. Eighteen percent of all single-family home sales so far this year have been for at least $1 million, according to the office of the District's chief financial officer.

"With sales of $1 million becoming more and more 'commonplace', it may be time to set the barrier higher in terms of what constitutes luxury," Steven Giachetti, a DC government financial analyst, wrote on the CFO office's District, Measured blog. "This redefinition would also better align the DC market with other expensive housing markets in the nation where $1 million no longer carries the same cachet and exclusivity that it did ten years ago."

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Posted at 12:27 PM/ET, 11/10/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Screenshot via Google Maps.

The house where three members of a familiy and their housekeeper were held captive and then murdered in May sold for $3 million less than one week after it hit the market. The French estate-style home, located on leafy Woodland Drive, Northwest, came under contract Thursday night, the Washington Post reports.

The residence was the scene of the gruesome deaths of businessman Savvas Savopoulos, his wife, Amy, their 10-year-old son, Philip, and their housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, who were found dead May 14. The house had also been heavily damaged by fire. Officials have also said the family and Figueroa had been held against their wills for a $40,000 ransom. Police later arrested 34-year-old Daron Wint, who at one time worked for one of Savvas Savopoulos's companies.

The 10,828-square-foot house was listed Sunday night at $3.25 million and was being sold "as-is," including fire damage that was never repaired. While real-estate agents in the District are only required to disclose whether houses they're selling have been crime scenes if asked by a potential buyer, the quick sale of the Savopoulos house suggests its status as a "stigmatized property" did not turn off the winning bidder, similar to other Washington houses that have been the sites of grisly homicides.

Posted at 05:46 PM/ET, 11/06/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Screenshot via Google Maps.

The Northwest DC home where three members of a family and their housekeeper were savagely murdered in May is for sale for $3.25 million, according to real-estate records.

Savvas Savopolos, a construction executive, his wife, Amy, and their 10-year-old son, Philip, along with housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, were found dead May 14 in the charred remains of the French estate-style residence, which had been set on fire. Officials say the Savapolouses and Figueroa were held hostage the night before, during which time their assailant collected a $40,000 ransom.

Police later arrested 34-year-old Daron Wint, who once worked for Savvas Savopolos's company American Iron Works. The Savopoloses also had two teenage daughters, who were away at boarding school when the murders occurred. Wint was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the deaths, and is currently being held without bond.

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Posted at 09:26 AM/ET, 11/02/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Sometimes it pays to be a writer. By Hillary Kelly

Two years after the death of Baltimore-native, bestselling thriller novelist Tom Clancy, his luxurious penthouse suite overlooking Baltimore's harbor has hit the market. The $12 million property inside the Ritz Carlton Residences boasts 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, 6 terraces, and some of the slickest white spaces we've ever seen. Coming in at over 12,000 square feet, the property also has a theatre room and a master bedroom with not one, but two en-suite bathrooms, each with its own dressing room.

Check out the full listing at Sotheby's.

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Posted at 11:31 AM/ET, 10/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Illustration by Toonsteb/Via iStock.

Just because I'm not in the market for a home doesn't mean I don't show up to open houses like I have hundreds of thousands of dollars to drop. The more open houses I go to, the more trends emerge: everything is shiny, new, and well-placed in an open-floor layout; there's a half-bath squeezed under the stairs; the bathroom has a modern sink you can't wash your face in.

Many of these homes have been flipped, an increasinlgy common incident in DC's hot real estate market. House flipping is when a home is bought as a real-estate investment, remodeled, and put back on the market at a substantially higher price.

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Posted at 07:00 AM/ET, 10/22/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
$500,000 for a five-bedroom, 3.5-bath home on five acres? SOLD.
Live by the water in Lewes for less than $800,000. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Sale price: $365,100. Where: Cumberland.

Photograph courtesy of Coldwell Banker.

For the price of a three-bedroom split-level on a fifth of an acre in Rockville, this three-bedroom contemporary sits on 23 wooded acres.

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Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 08/19/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Modern and roomy and stylish. By Hillary Kelly

You know you've become jaded about DC real estate when you find yourself saying, "Wow, this place is less than a million dollars!" But the fact is, a multi-story house in one of the District's most desirous neighborhoods can easily run into seven figures these days. In fact, it's been predicted that by 2018, a million dollars will be the average home cost in Washington, which ought to scare anyone who's looking to buy. But the most distressing aspect of a house hunt in 2015 DC is that for a million dollars, you often don't get very much. Fixer-uppers abound, multiple bathrooms are scarce, and if you're in the market for outdoor space, keep dreaming.

So when I stumbled across this (admittedly very pricey) home in Shaw, I had to share it. Yes, it's nearly a million dollars, but it really has everything you could ask for if you're in the market for a family home. It's a perfect blank slate, waiting for some creative homeowners to step in and turn it into a chic, comfortable abode.

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Posted at 01:17 AM/ET, 08/05/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
It's pretty much perfect. By Hillary Kelly
Photo by Brittany Ambridge for Domino.

It isn't often that an interior designer's home pops up on the local market, so when we saw that Lauren Liess's stunning Great Falls home was for sale, we had to share it with you.

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Posted at 04:34 PM/ET, 07/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
And turning the alley into its own tiny neighborhood. By Hillary Kelly
Rendering provided by S2 Development.

Anna and Dan Kahoe, the owners of U Street's interiors mecca GoodWood, moved into their funky, vintage-packed carriage house in Blagden Alley about eight years ago, long before a rush of shops and restaurants invigorated the neighborhood. The property sat far back from the street and the lot was so overgrown with weeds and covered in detritus that Anna says it "looked like a Motel 6 in Guadalajara." Now, two years after bringing in S2 Development and architect Shawn Buehler of Bennett Frank McCarthy, that lot full of weeds is well on its way to becoming a small but luxurious condo building designed to delight homebuyers looking for a modern space to kit out with their eclectic wares.

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Posted at 09:49 AM/ET, 07/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()