On Capitol Hill, facing Lincoln Park, architect Robert Allen Bell has converted an old Victorian building into nine condominium apartments, duplexes and penthouse town houses. Prices begin at $83,500. The building, which dates back at least 80 years, formerly had a Peoples Drug on the first floor and old-fashioned apartments above. The restored structure has a skylighted elevator and other skylights and archways.
Solar enthusiast Vic Reinemer reports that a 123-unit, church-sponsored complex of rental dwellings for low- and moderate-income Northern Virginians will have some solar heat under a $105,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The solar experiment will involve only 12 of the dwellings, which will receive sun energy from roof-mounted collectors provided by Solaron Corp. of Commerce City, Colo. Strawbridge Square Associates, a limited partnership of the Wesley Housing Development Corp. and the National Housing Partnership, will use a plan devised by several firms.Thomas P. Harkins is the builder. A summer groundbreaking is planned at the site near Rtes. I-95 and 236 in Fairfax County.
Appraiser Alfred W. Jarchow's periodic report on Montgomery County resale prices noted recently that there was a big increase in the number of expensive homes old in April.The median price hit $64,000, with about 30 per cent of the sales logged in at $80,000 or more. Jarchow added that the average time on the market for the houses was 30 days, which may seem long but reflects the fact that some houses are never sold. Jarchow said the lesson is that listings have to be "priced right" to sell.
James P. Ryan, who heads the Ryland Group that is one of the area's most prolific home builders and No. 1 in Columbia for 10 years, is a speaker who disdains the platform and dais. "I really liked his style and his facts," said veteran realtors Wally Agnew, who was at a local Mortgagers Bankers Association meeting where Ryan spoke this week. "He walked through the audience as he spoke.That made all of us pay attention." Agnew remembered that Ryan said that the difference in home prices today, compared with when he started in the business more than 20 years ago, is that a house with 1,248 square feet now costs $47,000, whereas a house with 3,100 square feet could be built to sell for $32,000 in the 1950s.
Names in the news: Lee Hart, whose husband, Gary, is the Democratic Senator from Colorado, has passed her Maryland realty license exam and now is selling for the firm headed by Joan G. Day and Vicki Bagley . . . and that Georgetown-based firm now has a listing on the DeLong Bowman house on five acres in Reston. You can live in the rambling white clapboard with four frontal pillars if $300,000 doesn't make you chock . . . Kenneth J. Luchs, a member of a firm whose execs (two Luchs family members and one Shannon) served as presidents of the Washington Board of Realtors, has been named to fill a vacancy on the executive committee of the board, probably the first step on the ladder to the presidency . . . Eugene H. Coleman, an ordained minister now with Better Homes Realty, will do a Gospel music program at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ramada Inn at Tysons Corner.
And another quotation from H. Jackson Pontius, the exec veep of the National Association of Realtors in regard to "earlier forecasts of a spring season housing boom come true." Pontious is quoted in a classic locking the barn door after the steed has been stolen: "While reveling in this prosperity, we don't want the pace of production and sales to become excessive. One thing which we do not need at this point is for the market to boom out of sight and reach a white-hot level of activity."