Good Deal or Not? Possibly A Good Deal Edition


This home is located at 1840 15th Street, NW.

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The flier says:

“LARGER THAN IT LOOKS. Beautiful fascade w/ fabulous brick detail. Untouched in years! Original mouldings & doors, but the house NEEDS EVERYTHING. .. essentially a SHELL. 10.5′ ceilings 1st flr & 9.5′ ceilings on 2nd. 3BR/1BA up (2 big BRs & 1 decent size), LR, DR & sep eat-in kit. Large yard. 2-car PKG. Partial bsmt under LR/DR & crawl space under kit. Front entrance to bsmt. AS-IS. Broker/Owner.”

You can find more info but sadly no here.

So I’m very curious about this one. The location seems to be amazing. The house looks super fresh from the outside. And the price is $594,777. That seems really reasonable, yeah? But it’s been on the market for 280 days. And there are no interior photos. So what do you think is it a good deal or not so much because it probably needs tons of money to renovate?

33 Comment

  • 600,000 for a SHELL- I mean the location is good but that is STEEP. especially in this day where its not all that easy to get the kind of loan you need to put 3 or 4 hundred grand into a shell to make it liveable.

  • How is 600 thousand dollars “really reasonable” for a shell? man

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I guess I wasn’t sure that it was a “shell”. Do we assume that it is a shell because there are no interior photos?

  • No, I think the assumption is that it’s a shell because the description says so.

  • This thread is cracking me up.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Hahahaha. Oops. Let this be a lesson to the children – blogging while drunk has repercussions. My bad.

    So what would a reasonable price for a shell be at this location?

  • The flier says it’s a shell — it’s in your post. 🙂

  • Damn PoP, this was posted at 1pm! Granted it’s Friday, but still…we need to start hanging out.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Right on. But I actually posted this around 2am last night (I delay my posts that publish during the day).

  • Noah, the life of a “semi-pro” blogger must be great, huh?

  • Having done one of these myself I would assume $150,000 or $200,000 to make it livable, so imagine it costing $800,000 and then ask yourself if it is a good deal or not…

  • Having done one of these myself I would assume $150,000 or $200,000 to make it livable, so imagine it costing $800,000 and then ask yourself if it is a good deal or not…

  • oops, sorry. trouble with the post going through…

  • I’ve been in this house, and safe to say it’s a shell that needs A LOT of work. However, that’s not the real reason why it’s still on the market after more than a year (it’s been on and off database a few times now). The real reason is it has an enormous crack, spanning nearly the length of the house, in the brick on one side of the house. Now, I’m no structural engineer, but even to a laymen like me it raised a huge red flag. My guess is that any flipper/investor that’s been in this house took one look at the damage and decided “not worth the hassle”. (Since it’s a common wall with the house next door, if any structural damage occurred during construction, an investor could easily have a lawsuit on his hands.) All that said, you’re right, it’s a great location!

  • PoP…you should know that all you need to do is ask:

    Interior Pics

  • Prince Of Petworth

    hahaha. Thanks hipchick!

  • what kind of renovation did you do though JnDC? I agree to get it liveable you might be right but shit my parents just redid their kitchen alone for 150,000. To redo this for a high end flip you would have to excavate the basement for a rental unit. and put decent finishes in it. Im guessing that alone would be 100 grand. then a high end kitchen and 2 high end baths on top of that. not to mention central air and adressing any problems with the bones. to sell this at the highend of the comps of the neighborhood you would have to put at lease 400k into I would think?

  • I had floors and stairs that were solid, but otherwise added central air, heat and did basement. I did a lot of the work myself, and when I couldn’t I was still my own general contractor. I was able to do center island in kitchen with pendant lights, granite countertop, etc. etc. and would put mine at around $200k.

    I didn’t dig out the whole basement except for where I added the bathroom down there. Made that a 2 step down to give more air circulation, vent fans etc. so that saved a lot.

    Certainly not the very top of the line finishes as I am still east of georgia ave by a block so didn’t want to fix it up past what people would pay for, but its a guideline I guess.

  • Is that a vertical crack? those aren’t that difficult to fix, just costly.

  • And now that I think about it, I seen much worse that were corrected.

  • Per my comment on the pic, one of my architect clients who bought another house in Mt Pleasant dealt with cracks like this. It really depends on the specifics of the house, of course, but he got the MtP house at a great deal because I am sure the giant cracks scared the crap out of anybody else that wandered through.

  • imagine it costing $800,000 and then ask yourself if it is a good deal or not…

    yes that would be a great deal. however the renovation would need to be several hundred grand to bring it up to standard for the neighborhood…

  • Yes, that would be the $200grand mentioned in my post. ‘Several’ is understood as two or three isn’t it?

  • I visited that house many months ago. I bet it’s set an alltime record for most visitors with no offers. Not only is there that HUGE crack but several smaller ones. Also, the entire back of the house where the kitchen is located is sloping significantly. I brought a contractor along who advised me not to be fooled by the genuinely nice original details, because after fixing the structural problems you’d be starting with a totally blank canvass — very little would be possible to save.

  • That place looks like my kinda scum! Gorgeous, untouched house. That is NOT a shell. A shell typically has been demo’d or is unsalvagable. The floors and architectural details look fine to me. The crack, despite the dire fears of the laymen, is probably really not a big deal and deserves no more attention than filling. This thing has been standing 100 years, you think it’s going to fall down now? I’ve seen worse than that, and it’s a rare house that hasn’t settled noticeably in that time. The reality is, nobody ever repaired the plaster. The fixed-up house most of you are living in probably has had plaster work done dozens of times, you just don’t realize there are cracks in the brick behind it.

    The price isn’t really that bad. 200 grand would easily do it, or far, far less for a DIYer. Yeah, 600K sounds like a lot for a fixer upper, but what would it sell for if it was renovated? It’s a great location, I bet you’d easily get a mil. This is a good deal, barring the unlikely possibility that it is structurally unsound.

    Hipchick – you didn’t take any kitchen or bathroom pics. The difficulty in financing it would be if its “uninhabitable,” e.g. lacks a kitchen or a bathroom. If it has those, no matter how nasty they are you can still get a conventional loan. And I don’t see why it wouldn’t appraise.

  • I hope someone with sufficient resources buys it and does it right. That might include using contractors who know how to preserve period detail. There’s a lot of real beauty here.

  • Seeing as the holding company bought it for $499k in September of 07, I’d say the proper price for it somewhat less than $499k. So, NO DEAL and its slightly offensive that they raised the price by nearly $100k without doing anything to it.

  • Jamie, this is definitely a rehab loan. It’s been a while since I’ve been in it though, so I can’t recall the kitchen and bath.

  • This home is down the street from where I work. My boss who relocated from NM was looking into buying it. Unfortunately after bringing in a structural engineer they discovered that the building has 2 structural cracks. One down the back and one down the side. The only thing really keeping this building up is the fact that it is attached and supported by the buildings on its side. This is a very bad deal because of the massive amount of money it would cost to fix he two major cracks.

  • If is a shell as described, one dollar would suffice

  • it’s funny, you post pictures of houses that monkeyrotica used to live next to, and one that i used to live next to on the same day!

    i used to live in the red brick house to the right (the one that’s a story taller). i’m curious as to whether that big structural crack is on the party wall with that house, or the one to the left.

    there was a nice old couple that lived there back in my day. wonder if they died or moved off to assisted living somewhere…

  • Having worked on several of these cracks before, I wouldn’t say it’s massively (prohibitively) expensive. If there is a crack in the rear wall, that is a different issue because the likely remedy is rebuilding the entire rear wall. I do think it’s crazy that the asking price is 100K over the SEP 07 price.

  • I went into this house months ago as a possible renovation project. I had the same reaction as Davey’s contractor- there has been so much shifting of the floors that you couldn’t salvage almost any of the original details, so it’s essentially a blank canvas. You’re going to end up gutting the entire house to fix all of the sloping floors, and at that point, you couldn’t afford to pay more than $400K tops for the house.

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