Good Deal or Not? Reader Request – Up In North Country


This home is located at 5730 1st Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“Lovely 4 bedroom 2 full bath cape cod in NW. Kitchen was remodeled with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and cherry cabinets. New Bath with glass bowl sink, river rock accents. Gleaming hardwood floors throughout. 3 season porch plus enclosed patio. Garage and off-street parking. Large bedrooms, separate dining room, lower level den that walks out to yard.”

More info and photos found here.

I think the home looks quite nice but it’s a bit too far north for me. Of course the price reflects that and it can be yours for $469,000. Sound reasonable?

34 Comment

  • that is beyond north country. my word. may as well be in frederick. not the prettiest area of dc either. all that aside It does look nice inside and it is detached though not on a very big lot. I think it needs to come down 45 grand at least

  • here is a list of places you can walk to from there that i took the time out of my day to compile:

  • Vonstallin

    I went to JR High school a few blocks from there (Rabault JHS). originaly I wanted to move to that area, but it was hard to find something for sale in the early 90’s. It’s a nice and quiet locations.

    Tacoma station (metro and club) isn’t too far away.
    I think its a decent spot if you have kids and realy want to chill out and get away from the hustle and bustle of PW/CH.

    I think its only worth low low 400K. But this is just my gut feeling pricing.

  • North Country 4 – Eva!

  • Not the most convenient location for sure, but the house does look really beautiful on the inside. You don’t see many renovated houses at the price. I’d say the price isn’t too far off.

  • I live right by there – we walk to Domku and other Petworth stops all the time. We walk to Silver Spring for afternoon movies periodically. We even walk all the way to work (Farragut for me, Reagan building for the husband). Perhaps we should have been born European, but “walking distance” is a heck of a lot more than the two seconds most readers seem to think it is. Its good for you too.

  • Stubs — you walk 2 hours to work? You’re nuts.

    A nice looking place, but if you prefer accessibility, I have seen houses that are just as nice much closer to the metro.

  • I agree with Stubs… maybe not on the walking downtown thing, but walking to Petworth and Silver Spring from there is reasonable. 3 miles (less than an hour) = walking distance to me. It’s part of the beauty of living in a city.

  • Stubs. walking distance in terms of city living is not how far a human can physically walk. its a reasonable walk. that would get you somewhere in a timely manner without being considered a work out. but i applaud you if you want to walk 4 hours a day. save a lot of money on transportation and a gym membership that way. and doing the environment good. by your standards I am walking distance to literally EVERYTHING in dc.

  • Realtor needs to invest in a wide angle lens. i like the picture of the corner of the living room. that’s a sweet corner!

  • Looks on the map like that is a reasonable walking distance to Fort Totten Metro station… however, I have never walked around Fort Totten, so I don’t know, are the roads I’m seeing on the map pedestrian friendly?

  • It’s 1.0 miles to the ft totten metro. 15-20 minute walk to red and green line isn’t exactly frederick.

  • Caro- they are pedestrian friendly for the most part. But its not an attractive walk and there is nothing by that metro. I believe the area has some development set for the coming years. so if you are going to live there for a decade you will reap some rewards.

  • I dont think this place is what most people looking to live in the city are looking for. it is smack in the middle of low low density residential. Sure you can walk to the metro in 20 minutes. but if this house is what you are looking for you could hop accross the border to maryland and have the same set up closer to a metro and less taxes.

  • I live on 4th & Emerson. I have walked home from work (McPherson Sq.) in the summer time. It’s not a bad walk. And the visual stimulation of walking up 14th St. makes it a breeze.

  • Ross- Its only just over an hour to walk to work – and the metro takes me 45 minutes. I wimp out when its cold, but on nice days, the 15 extra minutes to walk is a no brainer.

  • i don’t live too far from there – maybe 10 blocks south – and it is quiet and residential, but i’m 10 minutes from ft. totten metro and 20 minutes from both brookland and petworth metro stations (although why would i need them since I’m already on 3 lines). Granted, it’s definitely not in the thick of things like columbia heights or U street and there aren’t any bars/restaurants closer than a 15-20 minute walk, but we don’t have the shootings, either.

    I’ll take the longer walk… and the yard… and i’ll keep the cash I save on my mortgage payment in my bank account 😉

  • At that point, with those amenities, move to the suburbs for the better services.

  • There are a lot of people (including myself) who see the appeal of a house like that: people who really want to stay in the district and wouldn’t dream of living in the burbs but still want some of the amenities of a suburban house: detached structures, parking, larger yard, less noise/commotion in the neighborhood, etc. if and when I ever sell my rowhouse I will be looking for a house/neighborhood in DC very similar to this. I will probably miss having a string of restaurants and bars a couple blocks away but as you get older your priorities change anyway. And this house is a very short drive and a moderate walk to a lot that DC has to offer.

  • I live in a similar area up North, in a smaller house. While I can say I wish I had more eateries to walk to, the quiet is an absolute blessing and I shudder to think of living in popular bar country, with the roving bands of drunken idiots and higher amounts of litter and beggars. True, its far from perfect in my area, but there are positive aspects of quiet streets uptown. I’m a farmboy originally, so quiet is extremely important to me, though I didn’t realize it until I moved to my present area. One note: I do have a car, and do hop in it for the short trips to eat and shop, which makes things vastly easier. Were I car-less I would probably feel trapped and unhappy. Buses work for commuting and some other things, but I do feel I “need” a car in my area. Luckily, said car is all paid off so no big expense.

  • Looks like a great place to me. I suspect anyone who lives there would have a car and with a DC permit, street parking near the Takoma metro would be a breeze to find just about any time.

    Good deal.

  • Vonstallin

    Yep its walkable for sure..
    When i went to school i walk from Quincy and kansas ave to peabody and Kansas ave every day for JHS.

    Because back in 85 I was too scared to catch the bus…

  • At first, I didn’t like the look of the house until the tour changed my mind. It’s nice inside plus 4 bedrooms is great. I can’t get over all of your comments, though. I absolutely don’t walk anywhere, except from my front door to the car and sometimes out the back door to empty the garbage. The restaurants, stores, banks (no, I bank online), movie theaters, shopping centers, book stores etc. that I go to are nowhere near Petworth. There is no metro near my job unless you consider a 45 minute walk every morning and every evening near. I am not from Paris, where they might do that, but I don’t. And is what’s in the neighborhood things that people look for when they buy a house? Shoot, when we bought this house over a decade ago, there was Foxy Playground right down the street and a Chinese carryout with a plexiglass turnstyle for your ordering convenience. But back to the house. The price is too high for today’s market. And anonymous @1:03, the first comments, were the most accurate.

  • I’m with Neener. I can’t understand why anyone would choose to live that far from the “city” parts of DC and not just cross the line into the suburbs. Better services, lower taxes. That said, it’s a nice enough renovation, and I think the ultimate selling price still will start with a 4.

  • For people with modest incomes, DC taxes are actually lower than MD counties such as Montgomery.

  • RD, I don’t think people of modest incomes buy $400k houses (or at least not anymore)

  • @Anonymous 3:34 and Neener – that’s what a lot of people say about Petworth! It’s all relative, my friends. I have friends who live in Shaw and Capitol Hill who wouldn’t think of living in Petworth.

    Interestingly, when i lived in Mount Pleasant it took me just as long to walk to metro as it does now – but now apparently i’m in “frederick.” Seems a bit of a stretch. It’s just a different sort of neighborhood, people – DC is full of them!

    Personally – I’d never consider living outside of DC – unless it were to move to another region entirely. MD just doesn’t do it for me (the traffic is always horrendous and there is nothing of interest to me out there besides a target and we have one of those) and the political and cultural climate of VA is terrifying.

    So i think it’s a good deal, but I can understand why folks have a different take. Thankfully we don’t all have to have the same tastes to live here!

  • I volunteer at the Washington Animal Rescue League which is only a few blocks from there on Oglethorpe St. There is a bus that runs between Takoma Park and Ft. Totten stations you could catch on Blair Rd. but only during rush hour. It seems to be a quiet stable residential area. I know at least one person who works at the shelter lives across the street and has for many decades. It doesn’t work for me as I am now working in VA off the orange line.

  • DC property taxes are much lower than most of MD, too. I considered buying in Takoma Park, but mainly on the DC side, because taxes were much lower, and since I don’t have kids, the schools weren’t a big concern. (not that the fact that DC public schools sucks isn’t a giant problem, but at this point in my life it didn’t factor into my home purchase)

    I think this house shows the tradeoffs when buying a home really well. Here you’d be giving up some amenities outside your house for a nicer home and yard. For that same price you could buy a nice rowhouse in Petworth or a 2BR condo in Adams Morgan…I think it all just depends what you’re looking for.

  • I will eventually sell my house and move back to MD. I gave up trying to win the battle vs the jerks, even if I’m still fighting.

    The taxes really are higher in MD than in DC and that’s because you pay county tax in MD. MD State taxes may be comparable, but in DC we don’t have county taxes! Unlike VA, we don’t have that car tax- if they still do.

    But the police, fire, and schools are far far superior in MD than DC. I read a recent study that put MD, on average, with first in the nation public schools and DC, on average, with last in the nation public schools.

    The juvenile justice system in MoCo is much much better so that you don’t ever have corner crews. You do deal with MS-13 and related organized gangs in Takoma Park and Gaithersburg and I’ve known people who were mugged in both. There’s no free lunch.

    PG County has changed significantly since I last lived there, so I can’t really comment.

    But I stand by my statement that the taxpayer services are superior enough in MoCo to warrant a move.

  • Re: the taxes issue, I always thought DC taxes were higher, but when I did the math four years ago the difference was minuscule, less than a 10th of a percent or something. This accounted for income and sales tax, and I am pretty sure property tax too but I might be wrong. To be sure the services in, well, anywhere but DC, are vastly better, I won’t argue that. I do look forward to moving out of DC for exactly that reason, I am tired of paying for total idiocy. However, the MD living, in my income bracket, did involve a much longer commute, which is important to me. So, while north country is not ideal, it was the right place for the right price, it is blessedly quiet, not much violent crime (knock on wood), the commute is good (occasional harassment and violence on GA Ave notwithstanding), and I found PoP.

  • and it’s less than a half block from Fort Slocum Park.

  • Vonstallin

    From what I remember in say MD, once you pay your Federal tax, state tax, county tax and regional/town tax (that accounts for trash pick up and other stuff) the tax’s were way higher. We pay I think 1 less tax. Ahhh I cant remember what it is, but my dad was working it out and hands down it was higher to live in MD. Even the utilities.

    Plus DC has the Homestead act that lowers your property tax by a certain figure.
    Here is the link. I thought the tax was deducted by 40% but I think im wrong.,A,1330,Q,594163.asp

  • Wow, I see a lot of people are acting like this area is so far away. The northern tip of Petworth is only 3 blocks away from here, lol!!! Yes this area is a 15 minute walk from the Fort Totten Metro (just like most parts of Petworth) and a 20 min walk to Takoma, however it’s only 3 blocks from 2 bus lines (K6 and E2/4) and 1 block from the K2 (rush hour bus). I remember only a few years ago, Petworth didn’t have any real sit down restaurants. This area is sure to change. As far as density, if you go down to the next block, you will find the traditional Petworth style row houses.

    Also, if you have dogs, there is a nice park 1/2 block away on Kansas Avenue (the same Kansas Avenue that runs through Petworth), lol!!

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