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Our Unscientific Guide to D.C.'s Real Estate "Deals"

A good deal can be hard to find. It's no secret that D.C.'s housing prices are going up and even the ever-optimistic real estate agents aren't so quick to say that any given space is a "deal" in their listing descriptions. In fact when putting the keyword "deal" into a Zillow search of sellable D.C. houses, our options went from 592 available residences down to five. It's a completely arbitrary and unscientific method of finding a good price on a new home, but we ran with it. Do you think any of these five locations are actually a real deal?

? Address:2250 11th Street NW Apt. 106
Price: $699,000
Square Feet: 1,367
Bed/Bath: 2/2
The Broker Says: "50k Reduction! A DEAL! Maple Flooring, stainless steel and glass line this 2 level masterpiece. Snaidero cabinetry, open kitchen, European appliances. An atrium style run-of-glass floods this unit with light all the way downstairs to the master bedroom. Here you will find 2br and 2 luxurious ba with walk-in showers and travertine tile.Parking avail for sale in bldg. VA Approved. EZ-2-SHOW -call/go"
Our Observations: A $50K price reduction is nothing to sniff at. In fact, this apartment has gone down $30K since we last profiled it in our Real Estate Death Match a few weeks ago. It just barely lost that match, but perhaps the price reduction would give people pause for an additional look. This is still a pretty luxe spot (two stories! modern design!) in a nightlife hotspot, so it's hardly the most inexpensive listing in the city. Is it even one of the more inexpensive listings in the neighborhood?

? Address:1200 23rd St NW Apt. 809
Price: $329,000
Square Feet: 910
Bed/Bath: 1/1.5
The Broker Says: "BEST DEAL IN WEST END! Open living space w/ sliding glass door to PRVT BALCONY. Raised Dining area steps down to lg Living Rm. Great potential to open Kit. to rest of living area! Convenient Guest Bath and AMPLE STORAGE. Lg bi-level Master Suite w/ W/D. Walk to G'town, TJ's, Whole Foods and Foggy Btm Metro! Kit. and Mast. Bath need updating. SUBTRACT $68K UNDERLYING MORTGAGE BAL. FROM PRICE!"
Our Observations: Actually, at this price for these specs, it really might be the best deal in West End. A large one bedroom with a balcony at this price? Of course if the kitchen and master bathroom need updating, that will drive up the price considerably and it's telling that the master bathroom is notably not showcased the listing photos. We noticed it had light pink tile on the walls which is never a good idea.

? Address: 1365 Kennedy St NW Apt. 101
Price: $145,000
Square Feet: 637
Bed/Bath: 1/1
The Broker Says: "Amazing deal for this large Sunny one bedroom on tree lined street. Apartment has gleaming hardwood floors and large walk in closets and nice built-ins. Sunny dining room with two large windows and kitchen also w/large window. Coop fee includes utilities and taxes Building has a roof deck and meeting room located in new DC Arts district"
Our Observations: Funny, we've looked at this one before as well. Although Zillow hasn't updated this information yet, the price went down on this one over the weekend according to Redfin. The vast majority of those who voted in our poll said that this actually was a very good deal on a residence but a few readers were a little iffy regarding the co-op fee which appears to be $382 per month.

? Address: 1240 18th Street NE Apt. 4
Price: $120,000
Square Feet: 701
Bed/Bath: 2/1
The Broker Says: "Contract fell through; in Atlas Flats District; walking distance to H Street corridor, new Denny's, Aldi's, Ross and streetcars coming soon! New Costco just up the road in Ft. Lincoln. Unit shows well and backs to US Arboretum; watch the deer come out and play at night. Investor alert; motivated seller; bank will consider offers at or close to asking price. This deal will not last long!"
Our Observations: Well, one could walk from this spot on the edge of Trinidad to H Street NE but it's debatable whether being that close to an area noted for deer is a plus or a minus when heading out for the night. Still, there is a nice neighborhood feel to that particular block.

? Address: 5253 Banks Pl NE
Price: $169,500
Square Feet: 1,296
Bed/Bath: 4/1
The Broker Says: "Single Family Home for sale by owner in Washington, DC 20019. REALLY CUTE Starter Home for a STEAL OF A DEAL!!! Newly renovated with hardwood floors throughout. Brand New kitchen including NEW STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES. New paint throughout. Finished Basement. High efficiency furnace and new sump pump. New gutters and down spouts. Washer and Dryer. Huge, over-sized, fenced-in yard space for kids to play. Directly across the street from the Arts and Technology Academy and minutes from East Capitol, Benning Road Metro Station and the Capitol Heights Metro Station (all walking distance). Serious Buyers Only. Must be PREQUALIFIED and able to close within 30-days. Call Robin to schedule an appointment at 240.347.6742. Buying Agents welcome at 3.0 comm."
Our Observations: The only option on this list that's not an apartment isn't in a neighborhood known for its amenities (Lincoln Heights), especially if Wal-Mart pulls out if the location nearby. It is close to several metro stations and has the best square foot/dollar ratio of the group.