(Courtesy of Community Three)

Presales will begin shortly on the 22 one- and two-bedroom condos at the Centrie, 435 R St. NW in Washington two blocks from the Shaw Metro station.

Developed by Community Three Development, the Centrie features a contemporary design and numerous energy efficient features. The name “Centrie” refers to the location in the center of one of Washington’s hippest neighborhoods. But Community Three president Grant Epstein says “centrie” also is an urban term referring to anything original, cool, poetic, inspiring, intelligent, sincere, unique and classy.

Community Three did a complete environmental remediation program on the site of the Centrie, which previously was occupied by a dry cleaning operation.

The 22 residences feature floor-to-ceiling windows, white contemporary-style cabinets, solid quartz counters, hardwood floors, solid-core doors, custom tiling and insulated aluminum windows. Thirteen of the homes will have private outdoor terraces.

The Centrie includes elevator access, private parking and bicycle storage for every resident. Prices will start in the $300,000s.

For more information visit http://thecentrie.com.

D.C. homes more affordable than other markets

It may not feel like it to would-be buyers on the losing end of bidding wars, but the Washington area is affordable compared to many other regions around the nation and to what prices here were before the housing bubble burst, according to Zillow.

In a report last week, the real estate firm said 40.1 percent of the homes currently on the market in the D.C. metro area are considered unaffordable for residents.

While that is above the national rate of 33.6 percent, it is below many other regions: 62.4 percent in Miami; 57.2 percent in Los Angeles; 55.3 percent in San Diego; 55.2 percent in San Francisco; 52.8 percent in Denver; 50.9 percent in San Jose; and 50.3 percent in Portland, Ore.

Zillow says D.C.-area residents spend 17.8 percent of their income on mortgage payments, down from 22.1 percent between 1985 and 2000. But with mortgage rates expected this year to climb above 5 percent from the current 4.41 percent, Zillow says that new buyers in the future will pay a higher percent of their income for mortgage payments.

(Courtesy of Lessard Design)

Revitalization of Leesburg community begins

The Lansdowne Development Group began demolition of the Barber & Ross window and door manufacturing plant in the Crescent District section of downtown Leesburg, the first step in the process to transform 12 acres into a mixed-use, walkable community.

Known as Crescent Place, the new development will link the Crescent District to downtown Leesburg and has been designed to feel as if it has always been part of the city. Plans call for 224 residential townhouses, stacked condominium townhouses, live/work units and 32,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

Located along Harrison Street and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, the community is within walking distance of restaurants,
shops, recreational amenities and activities in downtown Leesburg. Residential models are anticipated to open by the end of 2014.

For more information, visit www.LansdowneDevGroup.com.

 Tip of the week

If you’re looking for information about how to prepare financially for homeownership but lack the time to take a class or meet with a planner, here’s a free financial Webinar that might be of interest.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas (CCCS) is hosting 50 free financial Webinars to consumers anywhere in the country in April in honor of Financial Literacy Month.

These live Webinars are available at various times of day. Topics include “Little Kids and Money,” “Conquering Credit Scores and Reports” and “So You Want to be a Homeowner.”

For the complete schedule of Webinars and information on how to register, visit www.cccs.net/webinars.

 Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at realestate@washpost.com and put “Town Square” in the subject line.