Good Deal or Not? Sold.

DSCN1678, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

There was quite a back and forth last month as to whether this house at 3814 Kansas Ave. was a good deal or not? The asking price then was $545,000. Although I believed it originally was asking $595,000.

Well, it sold yesterday for $535,000.

The seller writes:

“Also, my opinion about this market is that buyers know that they have the sellers over a barrel and basically wait on the sidelines until the price is just right. The people who ended up buying our house looked at it the first time back in May and waited and waited until we dropped the price, very savvy of them to wait it out!”

Congrats to the sellers and buyers.

41 Comment

  • any seller subsidies?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Sellers will be helping the buyers with 3% of the closing costs.

  • It may seem calculating, but many buyers can’t wait and wait for prices to drop. Let’s not knock the buyers. There are so few buyers out there these days. My husband is in real estate and hasn’t been to a settlement in so long, which means he ain’t getting paid. Times are rough in the real estate business. A house near us just dropped its rather inflated price by 100K, as it hadn’t been moving. Maybe it will sell now.

  • Welcome to the neighborhood!

  • And lets be honest. Buyers arent the only ones waiting. Sellers are waiting this out. If everyone who WANTED to sell suddenly put their house on the market prices would be even lower. The decline in prices is kept at a slower pace by sellers waiting it out.

  • Only one of my friends who abandoned DC actually sold their house, the other 3 are renting them and are making enough profit to buy a second house outright. you tell me if they even SHOULD try to sell with those stats.

  • We are not knocking the buyers. But you must admit that buyers have the upper hand (seller subsidies etc). And from what we know, there are a ton of buyers out there. We had high traffic for the three months and half months we were on the market. All I am saying is is that buyers can wait and will. Believe me, I am no expert, just happy that it is over with. The new owners will be a nice addition to the neighborhood.

  • People waiting for prices to fall to what is considered affordable are going to be in for a rude awakening. These houses are not going back to the low 200’s.
    You have to have some means to buy a 535K house. 3 months on the market is not a long time at that price point.

  • Can someone tell me what the market will be like 12 months from now, please? Thanks!

  • Oh man! So Jealous. I walk past that house every day on my way home from work and pine over it every day on my way home from work, I certainly hope whomever my new neighbors are friendly, inviting, and have a well stocked beer fridge.

  • Buyer here! It was nice meeting you yesterday, K and C.

    We really liked the house the first time we looked at it, but it was priced in the $600k range, and didn’t want to buy something priced at the very top of the neighborhood. Also, the other houses in that price range had a finished basement and 3 bathrooms. But believe me, we weren’t waiting on the sidelines- probably saw 50 houses total. We were looking at mainly fixer uppers, but we couldn’t get the numbers to work with people wanting $400k for houses that need a ton of work. When the price dropped, it hit the point where it was a good value in addition to being a really nice house.

    Thanks for the well-wishes, looking forward to joining the neighborhood!

  • How many baths does it have?

  • 2 baths. One upstairs and one in the basement. Would really like a half bath on the first floor, but there is no good place to put one. There is potential to add a master bath, though.

  • Welcome, RD! We live relatively near by.

  • youdontknowme, my Crystal Ball (they hand these out when we get our licenses) says the market a year from now will be FABULOUS.

    Seriously, though, for people who are waiting on the sidelines, you have until the end of 2008 to take advantage of the Federal first time homebuyer credit and the rates on high conforming FHA loans. The interest rates are coming down NOW from the Fannie/Freddie takeover.

    There’s a lot of crap to sort through in the mortgage industry. That’s certainly the biggest obstacle to recovery.

  • To RD: Nice to meet you as well. We are very happy that you decided to buy. I think you will like Petworth. I am glad that it all worked out in the end. And this blog is just terrific. I read it everyday even though we live in Arlington. did’t mean to imply that you were sideliners, only that if a buyer can wait, they should. By the way – never met flipfloppirate, but always wanted to. I love his comments on this blog. I bet if you put a beer out for him, he will stop by.

  • RD – send me an email and I can tell you our thoughts about a half bath on the first floor. We should probably take our conversation off line…

  • Owner,

    Please tell your thoughts here. We have a similar house and would like to add a half bath on the first floor but can’t figure out where.

  • Re: half bath on first floor, I have a similar small house farther up Georgia, after years of calculus and quantum computations the only way I can get a half bath on my first floor is to add a bump out on the back of the house. This is of course much more expensive. Also, not sure about others, but my basement bathroom is perhaps the smallest thing ever created, and also is dark and has pipes running at odd places through it. Has anyone managed a decent basement bathroom in these small places? Without rerouting pipes all over the place?

  • If the problem with adding the half-bath on the first floor is the staircase down to the basement, has anyone thought of replacing the stairs with a much more compact spiral staircase and adding a half-bath under the stairs leading to the second floor? Granted, spiral staircases are not great, but the inconvenience thereof could be outweighed by having the new bathroom.

  • K- will do. Davey- that’s a good idea. I’m thinking a fireman’s pole and a ladder, though.

  • RD–given all the attention you’ve gotten, I think a nice big neighborhood housewarming party on that side lawn would be fab!

  • Davey, great idea. I have a friend who did just that. It just might work in this house.

  • jae- if you (or anyone) sees me out there playing horseballs or cornhole, feel free to jump in.

    Help me out with another thing. I’ve been trying to figure out what neighborhood to tell people. Petworth makes the most sense, but I read that Petworth is bounded by GA Ave on the west. The tax records are CH, and wiki says 16th st heights. So what is it?

  • As far as a spiral staircase, where would we put it? dining room? it would have to be really narrow to fit one in the foyer.

  • RD, do you really have cornhole? i am going through withdrawal, not having played since labor day. perhaps you should hold a petworth tournament? 🙂

  • I am pretty sure that at least for some purposes our area too is considered part of Petworth.

  • saf

    Welcome – we’re very very close to you too.

    And that’s Petworth.

  • absolutjam – At least two of your Petworth neighbors that I’m aware of have cornhole sets, and I’ve also got one over on the Hill. The game is sneaking its way East.

  • Welcome, welcome. We’re nearby, across 13th (if you can imagine). Cornhole would be fun, but don’t you have room for real horseshoes over there!?

  • Oh, and we call it Petworth, but its wrong. Petworth is definitely east of Georgia Ave. Columbia Heights ends at Spring. That leaves 16th Street Heights, but their community association defines itself as starting “north of Arkansas Ave.” We are, it seems, a stateless peoples.

  • For those of you that have talked about adding a bump out to get a half bath on the main floor (which is our only option), have you gotten any quotes? Or recommendations of contractors to look into?

    For those of you looking for plumbing fixes to the basement bathrooms, etc, we had to do a ton of work because the contractors who flipped our house did NOT do it correctly. They even heated up and bent a pvc pipe rather than putting in the right piece. But, we have an awesome plumber who fixed it all and was much less expensive than the plumbing companies we checked out. Let us know if you’re interested.

  • StubsDC, I would love a plumber recommendation. Ever since the John C. Flood people came to my house and didn’t know how to change the tank kit in my one-piece Kohler (I ended up getting free parts from Kohler and doing it myself), I’ve been looking for a new company. hipchickindc (at) Thanks!

  • “We are, it seems, a stateless peoples.”


  • “We are, it seems, a stateless peoples.”


    This part of town is where the Red Derby is — I’ve always wondered whether the Red Derby was in Columbia Heights or Petworth — Now, I know: it’s in the West Bank of DC.

  • Stubs: I’d guess a bump out would run at least $20K, and more if you put a bathroom in there and such. They need to be insulated, stable, etc, so there’s a lot of materials and labor involved. I’ve got a good contractor these days, Ace Construction, run by a guy named Mark. Not sure we can post commercial info here but his phone is 301.448.0704. Note I’ve been working with him for two weeks now on my basement, so far so good but at your own risk etc.

  • @Owner – I’m glad my idle ramblings aren’t falling on deaf ears, its delightful to hear that PoP brings in talent from all over the metro area… and yes its true, I have been caught in a few traps over the years; including but not limited to:( or (

    @RD – Congrats on the new place! It is a beautiful spot and conveniently equidistant from the Derby & Looking Glass (…not that I had calculated this previously). Its good to hear we’ve got another Corn-Hole Connoisseur in the hood; I’ll be sure to stop by with some of my home-brew to welcome you to petwoth if I see you out there.

    @Everyone – As the Prime Minister of the Peoples Republic of Shepworth Heights (PROSH) I’d be happy to annex all of the geographically undecided as unlawful subjects of the burliest and/or surliest sliver of NW DC. Please submit the proper paperwork and administration fee to the Coconut vendor outside the Derby. Be sure to save the husk as it functions as both Identification and Currency in the P.R.O.S.H.

  • @Flipflopirate

    Let’s talk some Cornhole.

  • RD – Welcome to the neighborhood. We have an end unit townhouse and have a half bath on the main floor. I am guessing your stairs are in line with your front door and directly adjacent to that is a hallway that passes through to the kitchen? If this is the case, then your layout is like ours. The hallway between the front door and the kitchen is where the half bath was put in. Can’t give you a cost because it was in when we bought the place. But I imagine it is cheaper than a bump out.

  • Ok so as far as I can tell we’ve got a reasonably avid Cornhole following (RD, MM, absolutjam, Nichole, me, etc.) I think in addittion to the Petworth tennis classic we the proud few PoP readers should muster up a cornhole league, I’m going to havta bring my board up or make a new one.

  • Fellow- that’s actually a really good idea. could just wall up that whole hallway for a bathroom.

    I’m primarily a horseballer (that game with the golf balls at the ends of a piece of string thrown around a target made of pvc pipes) but got into cornhole because it’s easier for tailgates. Would definitely be up for some cornhole league action- we’ll have a set at the house.

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