It’s Time To Play Good Deal or Not?

DSCN0364, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

The flyer says – “Tastefully restored, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, new kitchen with granite and stainless steel, in-law suite, off street parking, metro safeway, and bus stop within two blocks…” The house is located at 928 Quincy Street and is going for $549,950. So good deal or not?

On a side note: Why do these flyers celebrate “off street parking”? That just means you can park on the street. I don’t get it.

22 Comment

  • Off-street parking usually implies that you can park somewhere on the property.

    Now, if the brochures start touting “on-street” parking, then they are indeed making a virtue of a necessity.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Oh man, I have to stop sniffing glue.

  • The house has a window air conditioner… doesn’t seem to be worth 500K if it doesn’t have central air.

  • It is one block from the Metro so that actually seems like a decent price as long as the house has decent bones and isn’t a complete mess. Some houses on the side of the block really look bad so I’d have to see inside.

  • $549K is only justified if the place is fully renovated, and not Home-Depot-flip style. I think it’s about $100K overpriced.

    There’s a foreclosure on 8th near Shepherd listed at only $279K, 3 blocks from the metro, and it’s been sitting on the market for months. It’s a big house and an end-unit so tons of windows. Even if someone spent $150K to renovate it, it would still be way less than this house.

  • Agreed, 100k overpriced unless the renovation were comprehensive and quality — and if that were the case, there would be central air. Houses in the neighborhood without the A/C are not selling above 500k. There are comps towards 13th and 14th street at 450-475.

  • PoP, this may be a question for another post. But I am interested to know how other people feel about the future of the Petworth neighborhood after Park Place and some of the other developments are complete. As it relates to this house, what do people think this house will be worth in 2011? Below or above 549K? I tend to think right at 549K or so in 3 years which makes this home a bad deal.

  • I think the going price for a rowhouse in good shape is around $400K-$450K, depending on whether there’s central air, new kitchen, etc. That same house 6 blocks closer to Columbia Heights could be $550K-$650K. Georgia Ave is a major barrier to a lot of people, and once the area around the Petworth metro looks more welcoming I think the prices have the potential to go up a lot. I think Petworth is a great neighborhood to invest in…but $549K is not an investment price.

  • Quincy St Neighbor

    I’m very excited to see the new developments such as Park Place underway. The conveniences and services will outweigh the inconveniences that they may bring. All this investment in development only affirms that Petworth is a GREAT place to live!

    As to house prices, I’m no expert nor can I assess them in 3 months time much less 3 years. I would not be surprised if median prices hover at the $500k range, esp. if we consider that if a 1BR in Park Place goes for market rate – that’s $300K – it’d be fair to say a full 3BR rowhouse could go for at least $500K.

  • Actually, a window unit does not mean it lacks central air. I know of several homeowners – primarily singles or couples – who have central air but don’t use it unless they have company. They keep an a/c in the bedroom so they can sleep comfortably. I suspect that with rising electric rates you will see a lot more of this. I am considering it myself, and I have central air.
    As far as “investing” is concerned, I don’t think many people are buying single family homes as investments, if by investment you mean buying now with the hope that you will be able to make a substantial profit in the next 2-3 years. Having said that, if one is looking for a neighborhood to invest in over a longer more normal horizon – 5-7 years, one should seriously consider the North Columbia Heights/Petworth area in the vicinity of the Georgia Ave. metro. When I moved to the neighborhood 3 years ago there was nothing but talk of development. Now that talk has turned into actual projects that will revitalize the area.

  • Where do you guys go to find listings of houses? I own a house on the Col Heights/Petworth border and am thinking of moving within the next year or so. Thoughts on where to keep my eyes peeled?

  • I think this house has been on the market or on and off the market at that price for over a year now, I remember looking at it when we were home shopping last May.

  • DCDireWolf,
    It looks nice from the outside. How about the inside?

  • The house isn’t 4 bedrooms and an in-law suite – it is actually 3 bedrooms upstairs and a finished basement that could be used as a fourth bedroom/in-law suite. The flier is misleading. There is a bathroom on each floor, which is nice. The house, however, is lacking in updates. And because of the location and the off-street parking in the back there is no yard behind the house. I definitely think it is over-priced. It’s been on the market for quite awhile now and there doesn’t appear to be any potential buyers. The open houses have seen very little traffic and the last open house was several months ago.

  • It doesn’t compare to the good deal at 3811 13th, which I think is listed at about $400,000 and looks to be in good dhape. I think the father of the house is a professional painter, so I suspect the pictures on the net aren’t too misleading. There’s no off-street parking, although there is a back yard. And the house at Kansas and Randolph just dropped to $575,000, and it looks incredible from the outside and has a vast corner yard. I agree the one listed here is probably $100,000 over-priced.

  • From the other SG 🙂

    Can someone explain the Georgia Ave. comment that SG #1 made? And what did SM mean by “and once the area around the Petworth metro looks more welcoming”? I thought it was ok now but I live in VA.

    I am not picking. I am thinking heavily of moving to the Petworth-ish area next year and I am trying to gather info on various streets, good vs bad, etc. Thanks!

  • To answer MM’s questions – we just bought a house in the northern area and used as our search engine. It was great because we could set the parameters based on size, price and use the map to plot out the geographic area. I didn’t like our agent, but I loved the search engine side of it all.

  • I see a lot of advertisements that say “plenty of street parking” as a selling point. That’s all well and good, but who is to say that wouldn’t change as more people move into the neighborhood?

  • For SG #2, there are a lot of developments just beginning or planned around the Georgia Ave/Petworth metro, and once they are in place, the area will be a lot more pedestrian-friendly, more retail, etc. Right now there are a lot of closed businesses and empty lots and that puts people off…at least I don’t do much walking on Georgia Ave at night if I can help it.

    Some things that are in the works:
    – Great Streets program sidewalk/street improvements including planted medians on New Hampshire Ave and redesigned crosswalks
    – Park Place condo building by Donatelli Development with Mocha Hut and other retail
    – 3910-12 Georgia Ave — new residential building by Jair Lynch w/ ground level retail
    – Safeway on Georgia Ave will be torn down and rebuilt, with residential above
    – new apartment building at Georgia & Taylor with Yes! Organic Market on ground floor
    – several lots and buildings on the 3800 block of Georgia Ave to be developed
    – new CVS (?) to be built on the triangle-shaped empty lot south of the intersection of Georgia & New Hampshire
    – planned setup for a farmer’s market including bricking over 9th St NW b/w Taylor & Upshur, and closing it to traffic on market days
    – renovation of Petworth library (budget something like $15million)

    These are just a few of the planned developments, and just north of the metro…I think all will contribute to increased housing values in the future…that’s what I meant by making Georgia Ave more welcoming.

  • Zip Realty is the best for trying to assess home values. Which, by the way, is akin to reading the crystal ball in this market. A search on Zip results in 280 homes for sale between 200-800K in zips 20009, 20010, and 20011. 146 of these have been sitting on the market and have reduced prices (some reduced by as much as 100K or more), and 28 are short sales or foreclosures.

    In reviewing the listings, my guess is there are far more short sales as many of the listings say “subject to 3rd party approval”. Apparently it is now a selling feature to specifically indicate the home is not a short sale or foreclosure, as they are notoriously difficult to get bank approval. I would also guess that this area was ripe for originating loans to people who couldn’t really afford them when the market was going up, which makes it ripe for foreclosures when these folks can’t make their payments.

    I would look up the tax records/sales data on this house anywhere from 2000-2002, then assume a 10% appreciation rate per year plus $$ for renovations and offer that. Anything substantially over that reflects fundamentally unreasonable appreciation that will eventually correct. It is shocking to me that people are still trying to sell homes as “investment properties” in a market that is already totally oversaturated.

  • Unless you plan to pack up and move to Nebraska when you retire, escalation of the value of your home won’t change your life much but it may be nice for your children or whomever you put in your will. Who else is tired of DC real estate talk? I hope all the unemployed realtors have kept up on their bartending and cater-waiter skills. Besides, it isn’t the money, it’s how you live. Have you ever walked into someone’s grand house and felt the chunks rise up inside because of what they have done to it?

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