Good Deal or Not? Capitol Hill Reader Request Edition


This home is located at 1200 G Street, SE:

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The flier says:


More info and photos found here.

The reader writes:

“It obviously needs work (like, um, a kitchen), but it seems like even if you put in $100k (which seems high) it would be one of the least expensive 2BRs in the area. But I don’t know the neighborhood that well–does sketchy stuff happen at the gas station next door? And has anyone ever lived near a gas station–does it suck as much as I could imagine it would?”

Hmm, I’m not too familiar with this area so I’m hoping some of the Hill folks can help out with describing which neighborhood this actually is. This is a pretty small house at 490 square feet. Does $259,900 for this location sound reasonable for those in the know?

25 Comment

  • 490 s.f. is the lot size not the s.f. of the home.

  • 490 is the lot sq ft. the house is prob 2 or 3 times that if it has a basement. Which may lead you to believe its a pretty swell deal but looking at the fine print it says “would be great for an FHA loan” which as I understand it is realtor speak for . “this house needs 200k in renovations” Other than that I love the curb appeal and the location is good.

  • im confused. how is this a house. it says unit B. and is attached to an Allstate Office. Also a HUGE downside is the Gas Station that is right next door. check the street view. cars parking 1 inch from the side of the house. nice view out the window….

  • That gas station is pretty responsibly run by the owners. Also it doesn’t have much of a convenience store like other stations, which keeps the loitering low. With that said you are a block away from a housing project that has been at the center of a lot of trouble in the neighborhood. Still it’s not a bad location. a few short blocks to eastern market and barracks row and two grocery stores within easy walking distance.

  • It’s not a condo? If not, it’s a great deal, but the only downside if the Potomac Gardens project next door.

  • Check out the google street view of that area. I mean, it’s pretty convenient to capitol hill stuff, but the neighborhood looks like a White Flint strip mall. Hideous. For the same money I’d much rather buy a significantly larger fixer-upper in Petworth

  • A little work was done on it a few years ago but obviously not a lot. Of course this could be the result which should make people wary. If this is a house I wonder about the legality of the Allstate office (unless there is some construction issue that has separated the building in a way that isn’t obvious).

    The location is a bit weird. The gas station may be a responsible tenant but it is stall a gass station. also there is a empty lot that has some affiliation with the Salvation Army, as well as several public housing buildings (not just Potomac Gardens), and a charter school near by. It’s a bit of an awkward spot.

    Of close my favorite store – Fragers – which is in the next block and it is close to Metro and a Harris Teeter.

  • As I recall, there was a clothing store in that unit. There’s a long light at the corner or 12th and Pennsylvania so there’s usually a line of cars down the block.

  • That is Mediterranean Revival, not Victoran. The Victorian Period preceded the construction of this building by 100 years.

    And I’m definitely confused on the house vs condo issue. It looks like a townhouse to me.

  • I used to above the gas station at 13th and N, NW. It often did suck as it was a 24 hour place. So, you could be woken at 3am as someone blasted Rump Shaker. Or, one local ass had a harley and work on it at the station, again at 3am, and invariably needed to rev rev REV the engine. And lastly, one night we were woken and evacuated as a tanker spilled a couple hundred gallons of gas. So living above a gas station has its moments, I would say!

    (I guess I’ve been waiting years for someone to ask me that! Whew, cleansing!)

  • Seems awfully close to Potomac Gardens to me.

  • re: Not Telling:

    The victorian period lasted for roughly 60 years, from 1840-1900, but took many forms during that period. High Victorian is usually associated ca. 1880’s. This house, if I got the right one in the real estate records, was build ca. 1915 (though it looks older). Clearly, it is a transitional home and close on the heels of Victorian, not separated by 100 years.

  • Does Victorian refer to the time period in which it was built, or an architectural style? Same question for Georgian, if anyone knows.

  • I grew up near that building It was once corner store with the best French fries and snow cones. The side you are showing was the real estate office. Life in DC has changed a great deal. Those projects called Potomac Gardens was once very beautiful without that gate around it. I heard they were slated to be turned into a condo community, is it true? If so I would buy that location can’t be beat.

  • 14thandColumbia:

    Both. If it is built in a style, but later than the original period, it is indicated by a similar term, as in Gothic Revival, Mission Revival, Romanesque, Neoclassical, etc.

    Victorian style is marked by gingerbread or lacework trim, gables, turrets (Queen Anne substyle), and steep pitched roofs. They are usually of wood construction which was becoming easier at the time.

    Mediterranean Revival features detailed door & window surrounds and detailed eaves, simple rectangular floor plans, and low pitched roofs.

    This building was built in 1928.

  • In 1989 I dated a guy who owned a row house on that block and he was shot (seriously wounded, not killed) and robbed as he opened his gated parking space from the alley. Sounds like the biggest problem now is living near a gas station. I’ve been to Potomac Gardens a number of times for work and it was quiet during my visits.

  • Been in it. Feels more like a commercial property than residential, but would be a great deal for a business owner. Weirdly, though, the public record does not state a zoning code, although it says “residential use”.

  • Love it! Looks like the kicker is you’d need cash or FHA loan…. good luck finding a buyer with either of those. I don’t know much about the location, but seems to be near metro.

  • Actually, bogfrog, about half my buyers are using FHA 203(k)s, so not really that hard.

  • I’m actually about to move to DC and are looking at buying a townhouse in this area. There seems to be some good buys around, and it seems a little quieter than other parts of DC. (Baby due almost any hour now) Any comments on good or bad areas would be helpful. I have lived in Alexandria and my wife’s lived in DC before but not specifically south east. How are things a little closer to the Stadium/Armory Metro? Just south of Independence as I’ve found a few places around here? Thanks in advance for any help.

  • Bhtphilo:

    I live at 15th and D and i love it. The area is very metro-convenient and has two grocery stores (Safeway and the new Harris Teeter) and is an easy walk to Eastern Markey and Barracks’ Row with lots of great restaurants and shopping. I feel very safe in my area (I am a young, white female). There have been a few incidents of crime, of course, but it’s much less of a problem in this area than in many others. I enjoy coming home to a quiet neighborhood with ample parking and a nice community feel. My neighbors are great and there’s a sense that people are looking out for each other.
    That said, the area near Stadium-Armory is a little grittier than near Potomac Avenue. There is a lot more loitering, more groups of kids around, and i don’t feel quite as comfortable in that area. From my experience, staying west of 16th street is a good idea. I wouldn’t say to avoid the area, but I would check out the block and see if you feel comfortable. I hope this helped!

  • That’s very helpful thank you. I’ve seen a few good deals on 17th and and one on Cst between 16th a 17th. It seems like a fine area to me but I imagine there are areas to be wary around. I have to go, the baby I mentioned just this second decided to enter the world! A future DC resident…

  • Oh wow, congratulations! I would say C between 16th and 17th (just around the corner from me) is a very nice area.

  • I live a few blocks away and this is a really cute spot…right near fragers and quick walk to everything. I have not seen a lot of people loitering later an night and potmac gardens seems to keep its trouble to itself…

  • I live very close to this location and would generally agree with the comments. By DC urban standards crime is present but not too pronounced, with property crime (car breakins, vandalism, theft) far outpacing violent crime. The property borders Potomac Gardens, and for all the grumbling it’s not such a troublesome spot. It’s still a good idea to be careful around here at night. Fragers is an excellent resource, and the CVS on 12th is not bad as CVS goes.

    The property itself is a little cutoff from the attached home ‘block’ feel throughout the Hill. There are a few SFH across the street but this kind of stands alone. Good or bad price? That depends on the amount of work required — get estimates upfront. For best comparitors, look at sales trends on Zillow and see what’s sold within a few blocks on the South side of Penn Ave. east of 11th St. SE.

    About equidistant between Eastern Market and Potomac Ave Metros, and would advise using EM Metro or the bus routes on Penn Ave, which are very good.

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