Good Deal or Not? Reader Request


A reader writes:

“This seems really low, given the prices of the houses around it. I wonder if PoPville has the inside scoop on this unit and the street that might explain such a low price.”

This home is located at 529 Newton Place, NW:

View Larger Map

The flier says:


More info and photos here.

So does a house renovated in 2005 that needs a roof and HVAC repairs sound reasonable for $189,900 at this location?

19 Comment

  • I think that it is obvious that this was a sloppy renovation. The price is still disturbingly low

  • saw this on the market forEVER ago at the height of the market. It was a horrible flip I believe and priced ridiculously high. Im guessing this was to recoup runaway costs lost by a flipper who didnt know his stuff. as predicted it sat on the market and looks like the owners had to forclose as its bank owned now. and looks like the flip job sucks as it says it needs a new roof.

  • I think thats about fair for an 800 sq ft house with a teeny tiny lot. in a not great part of town struggling with increasing gang activety. next to a parkinglot. as the market continues its downward spiral…

  • I think it’s a great price. What’s the roof repair going to cost — $700? Or $15K for a whole new roof? And a new AC condenser would be $5 K? The total price still seems great.

    House looks fine to me, although in the past I have felt a little uncomfortable on Newton. I think it’s better if you approach from the Warder St side rather than from Georgia Ave.

  • if you have to think about which angle to approach your house from…

  • Is it just me or does that dish look like a really big zit?

    I think the price is fair, of course the buyer just has to be aware that it was a bad flip and that they will possibly run across some of the stupid flippers mistakes that they will have to fix.

  • The price seems low to me, but as someone who just went through major HVAC repairs, you could be looking at $10-15K. I had one estimate come through for $15K+. So I guess depending on what sort of HVAC you need……And my roof was def more than $700. I was over $1K on that, too. Its probably one of those houses where you go to do one thing and then as you start working realize that X is wrong, and Y is missing and Z is in disrepair…..

  • It’s not 2005 anymore. This is a tiny house in a questionable location that needs major mechanical/systems work at what likely will be a significant cost to the buyer (and probably more than the HVAC and roof, to boot). $216/sq ft seems about right to me, especially given that the bank probably is looking to offload the property from its books and profit from the sale isn’t its first priority. Maybe a non-bank seller would be looking for 25-30% more, but that doesn’t mean they’d be able to get it.

  • Important facts here without even looking at the pics:

    1) That block of Newton is SUPER sketch. Gangland.

    2) Those houses do not have basements. 2BR with no basement? TINY. It’s got half the usable space as a typical 3BR townhouse.

    I wouldn’t buy something there for 100K. This is probably a fair price, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

  • 1) I wish people who label blocks as “sketch” or “gangland” actually live on the blocks.

    2) 2 BR’s without basements likely avoid flooding, insects or settling issues that can affect 2 BR’s with basements.

    3) Some people choose to live in small and/or tiny spaces. Usable space is what you make of it. Some mansions are inefficient and cluttered.

  • so one must live somewhere to know whether it’s sketchy? please. i have never been to Mogadishu, but i know it’s a dangerous, inhospitable chaotic hell and i don’t want to live there. and from more first hand experience, although i don’t live in that block of Newton, i know it’s sketchy, and would not want to live there.

  • Previous occupants pretty much tried to ensure that the next time this place sells it will say renovated in 2005 and 2009. It is tiny and you definitely will be doing some work on it. The biggest thing is obviously the most important thing when buying a house, location, location, location. This location is not good at all. At best I would say you could get it for $175, put $25 into it and hopefully get $250 for it somewhere down the line but probably not for a while. If you want to be a homeowner in DC then this is possibly the way to do it. Just don’t look for any short term returns on your investment.

  • Saw this house last year when they were asking upwards of 300K (thank god we didn’t buy), the renovation was terrible. I would have rather paid 180K then done everything myself. Terrible renovation, bad location, 2nd bedroom barely large enough to be used as an office.

  • As someone who lives on the next block over on Newton, I’d say ‘sketch’ is what you make of it. We’ve been here a year and a half and although there are certainly ‘better’ parts of the city – and neighborhood – we’ve had very few problems. The neighbors are usually very friendly, and neither of our cars have been broken into while parked on the street. Of course, frequent walks with our pit bull mix might help us out. Overall though, I’d say anyone buying here should plan on sticking around for awhile or renting out.

  • It looks clean and neat. No word on whether the roof is old/rotten tin or new/crappy rubber, but both can be repaired instead of replaced by anyone half-way handy for not much $$$. Unless the ductwork is complete crap, a new air handler/compressor combo (and maybe some plumbing) is likely all that’s needed for good AC, and that shouldn’t run more than $5K installed.
    It’s an end unit- does that mean the unattached wall has windows?

  • Having lived a block away for some years I think I can say that this block is shabby at worst. The next block over of Newton is another story.

    In terms of the neighbors, it mostly established older black families. The folks around here are not going to bother you. You won’t have to worry about parking your car on the street here, the folks that break into cars skip over Park View and go straight to Mt. Pleasant and Adams Morgan.

    Now this house is a flip job and a pretty cheap one. They used a crap floor-plan, it has no yard and while it’s an end unit, there are no windows on that side so you gain nothing.

    All that said, it’s still only a few blocks to the Metro, and the Looking Glass Lounge, there’s new development happening at the intersection of New Hampshire and Georgia Ave. that may pick up the interest in this area.

    I think it’s priced just about right for a single person or couple who want a low payment and aren’t interested in a condo fee.

  • My insight about the relative sketchiness of that block is not based on my opinion based on the way it looks. It’s from a conversation with a friend who’s a DC cop when I was shopping for a house a year and a half ago, and he said DO NOT buy a house there. He said there is still substantially more gang activity than many other parts of Cohi.

    As for houses without basements… HUH? Why would a house with no basement be less susceptible to settling? That makes absolutely no sense. A basement and foundation provides far more structure than a house built on piers, if anything it’s exactly the opposite.

    Sure, if you don’t have a basement, it can’t flood… umm… and if you don’t have a 2nd floor, you will never need to walk up the stairs… huh?

    Anyway, basement flooding is a very rare problem in DC except down in the swamp. I’ve never had anything worse than a little dampness in one house in Mt. P, Cohi, and Adams Morgan. There’s just no good argument for why it’s good to not have a basement.

  • Your is a weak argument: people might not mind walking up the stairs, whereas most people would not like flooding. FAIL

Comments are closed.