Home & Style

Luxury Home Sales: Bidding Wars Are Back

Homes go for $100,000, $200,000, even $300,000 over asking price.

Lawyer Melanie Aitken spent $2.8 million on this Arts and Crafts-style home in DC—$300,000 more than the list price. Photographs by David Pipkin.
Geoff and Ann Morrell are moving on up—from American University Park to this larger, $1.7-million home in Spring Valley.

Lawyer Melanie Aitken bought a six-bedroom,
six-bath Arts and Crafts-style home in Kent for $2.8 million. The house
sold in three days for $300,000 above the asking price. Aitken, who
specializes in global antitrust and competition law, is managing principal
of Bennett Jones’s Washington office.

Restaurateur Christianne Ricchi sold a
three-bedroom, four-bath rowhouse on 28th Street in Georgetown for $2
million. The house has a garden terrace with a fountain and two
fireplaces. Ricchi is the owner and executive chef at I Ricchi, an upscale
Italian restaurant near Dupont Circle.

Public-relations executive Geoff Morrell and
wife Ann traded up. The couple sold a four-bedroom,
three-bath Colonial on Alton Place in American University Park for $1.2
million—more than $230,000 over its list price. They also bought a
six-bedroom, five-bath Colonial in Spring Valley for $1.7 million.
Morrell, former press secretary for the Pentagon, is head of US
communications for the oil company BP.

Charles and Toby Gati, experts in
international affairs, bought a two-bedroom, two-bath condominium in the
West End for $1.7 million. The 1,800-square-foot condo has views up M
Street to Georgetown. Charles Gati is a professor of Russian and Eurasian
studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Toby Gati is a senior international adviser at the law firm Akin

Endodontist Gael Delany sold a four-bedroom,
three-bath Cape Cod on 45th Street in American University Park for
$930,000. The house sold in six days for $110,000 above list price. Delany
practices in Northwest DC.

Lobbyists Joel Kaplan and Laura Cox Kaplan paid $3.5 million for a Chevy Chase Colonial with a heated pool.

In Maryland

Lobbyists Joel Kaplan and Laura Cox
bought a five-bedroom, seven-bath Colonial in Chevy Chase
for $3.5 million. The house, on a double lot, has a mahogany library and
heated pool. Joel Kaplan was White House deputy chief of staff during the
George W. Bush administration; he’s now vice president of public policy at
Facebook. Laura Cox Kaplan oversees regulatory affairs and public policy
at the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In Virginia

Lawyer Troy Dow and wife
Rachel bought a five-bedroom, seven-bath home on Yonder
Hills Way in Oakton for just under $2 million. The house, on two acres,
has a pool, hot tub, waterfall, putting green, and game room. A senior
lecturing fellow at Duke University Law School, Dow is vice president and
counsel at the Walt Disney Company.

Defense expert Charles McQueary sold a
two-bedroom, three-bath condo on Oak Street in Arlington for $1.5 million.
It has a 14-foot wall of glass opening onto a terrace with views of
downtown DC. McQueary has held leadership positions in the Defense
Department as well as the Department of Homeland Security. Before joining
the public sector, he was president of General Dynamics Advanced
Technology Systems.

Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads
and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

This article appears in the September 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.