June 14, 2012 | by Valerie Blake
Pride of ownership

“Be true. Be you!” It’s such a simple tagline yet so profound. And in my line of work, nothing says “be you” like your own home where, unlike a rented house or apartment, you can knock down walls, get rid of that horrendous chandelier, or paint the ceiling black if it suits your taste. And I’m sure you’ve noticed  how television has permeated nearly everything we do to buy, sell, improve and entertain in our homes.

To those of you who have already purchased a home, I say, “Bravo!” Perhaps it’s time for the rest of you to take a deep breath of Oxygen and Do It Yourself as well. Or maybe the time is right for you to Sell This House and Move On.

It’s A Brad, Brad World of real estate out there. I continue to be amazed at the transition that has taken place in D.C. since I bought My First Place, started my real estate career, developed my Logo and began advertising in The Washington Blade. New condos are springing up again and areas that your best friend couldn’t Drag U to less than five years ago are now trendy and hot.

Not only are we Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but we’re also Bath Crashers, Yard Crashers and the Shahs of Sunset Boulevard. A home might be a Million Dollar Listing or in need of some Interior Therapy, but with the market on the upswing, sellers are no longer Flipping Out and buyers have stopped cringing at The L Word – loan, that is – and are taking advantage of extraordinarily low interest rates to buy a home of their OWN.

You can invest and Flip That House once again, become a Renovation Addict, or simply Watch What Happens Live while Tabatha Takes Over the Work of Art that will become the home of your dreams. But even with 1 Girl, 5 Gays and the support of your family and friends, you can still be Miss Advised about the nuances of our market that other areas of the country are not experiencing.

The Greater Capitol Area Association of Realtors tells us that as of May 2012, the average price of a home in D.C. approached $633,000, having risen steadily since 2009.  D.C. condos and co-ops were more affordable, coming in at an average of about $423,000.

Inventory this year is down by a third or more over 2011. House Hunters looking for a detached home in D.C. in the $400,000-$500,000 range, for example, have only 13 to choose from as of this writing.

Certain areas of the city are figuratively on fire this year, particularly Columbia Heights and Petworth east of Georgia Avenue and the ever-popular Capitol Hill, all the way out to Stadium Armory and Congressional Cemetery. And what do you get when you put low inventory and hot areas together?

Multiple Offers!

Yes, they’re back. Inside the Beltway, at least, it’s déjà vu all over again, but with smaller loans and a greater influx of cash. So, if you have a home to sell, now is the time to showcase it so the Absolutely Fabulous, Beautiful People will flock to your open house and declare, “I Want That!”

Until, then, I’m turning off the television so I can prepare my Jeffrey and Cole Casserole to take to Rocco’s Dinner Party, after which my friend, Kathy, has invited me to the Miami Social event of the season, where we’ll all be wearing Mad Fashion and Dancing with the Stars. See you there!

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