Good Deal or Not? No Heat or AC Edition


This home is located at 4714 15th Street, NW:

View Larger Map

The flier says:

“Lovely three level town home located in prestigious Street Heights community. Complete with large and private master bedroom, open kitchen, and covered patio that overlooks historic community. Conveniently located near major commuter routes, quality schools, and plenty of shopping and restaurants. NOTE PROPERTY HAS NO HEAT OR AC”

More info and photos found here.

I was super intrigued by this house and thought for sure this was gonna be a good one. Then I read the last sentence – “Note Property has no heat or ac”. There’s always a catch, yeah? Well, I’m still curious to know what you think. Was this a renovation that ran out of money? Anyway, the asking price is $389,000. What do you think?

22 Comment

  • Lack of a/c isn’t too unusual in these older houses but no heat? I don’t see any radiators in the pictures so I guess they were removed during a renovation but it’s weird they weren’t replaced by some other heat source.

  • I really love that area of the city (16th St Heights). Most underrated in DC? Perhaps

  • Ah, I can just see Odentex’s reaction on this one. That is a LOT of nasty carpet – gonna have to say I agree on this one. I was happy to see the outside of this one because the second story windows and tile roof are beautiful, but looking at the inside, they’re gutted absolutely anything with charm or history. And look at that upstairs window with the arched windows – rectangular windows inside?? What did they do here, put storm windows on from the interior?? It’s hideous, and a shame because i bet this house was once beautiful.

  • Beautiful block. I was in the house over the weekend and, as PetworthRes already said, it’s a shame. Everything original is gone. The only good thing about that is that someone can come in and start over and do something fabulous (and feel no guilt for having removed anything original).

  • PetRes: Well I don’t think it’d take Karnac to figure out I’m not too keen on carpet with large dark pee stains on it. The question is, do the toilets not work or did they forget to let the dog outside.

  • aside from the lack of original details. and heating and air. I gotta say. this may be the first time I ever thought a GDON was maybe an ok deal. I mean just based on what houses usually go for there. adding a nicer kitchen. doing the floors adding heating and air. I think you could do all those updates and not be at a loss if you had to sell soon after. Only thing is. Close to What shopping and restaurants? Its not really close to anything worth a damn by city standards. but the location is still nice

  • I still don’t have AC in my room. It’s ROUGH, man. 100 degree heat in DC is no joke.

  • I don’t know what seller in their right mind would put a house on the market without HVAC. At the least the seller could have gotten a bid for an installation and included that in their listing.

  • The lack of HVAC doesn’t bother me – I probably haven’t had central air since 1994. I would also guess that probably 90% of the homes on the market in the 20011 zip code don’t have central air either. I value older homes with nice architectural details, of which this house has none!

    When the time comes to SELL my house, I’d spring for the AC though – you could pay $15,000 to put it in, and then get $50,000 more for your house. It must be the best thing you can do for a return on your investment. But then again I don’t have $15,000 just sitting in my bank account so I’ll have to do without.

  • Richard, though I have to add, some HEAT would be nice – definitely a problem not to have ANYTHING. But at this price they are just trying to unload the house. And like hipchickindc says, someone can do a totally modern renovation and not feel bad for having destroyed anything…

  • Pee stains on nasty carpet is Hipster chic these days!

    HVAC should not be too expensive bad to put in, even without ductwork. I good do it your selfer should be able to do it with out a problem with a little advice from your HVAC contractor. Minus the ductwork the a unit for that house should run 5 to 6 grand for a decent energy star unit (that’s what I paid a year and a half ago).

  • But if you minus the ductwork, what good is the energy star unit?

  • “I don’t know what seller in their right mind would put a house on the market without HVAC”

    I assume it is a foreclosure. (This particular listing agent handles a lot of REO property.)

  • The redfin description states ‘natural gas heat’ so it sounds like there is infrastructure in place for heat. Perhaps the furnace was removed and the house just needs a new one? If it were that simple, I think this is a great deal. But I think it all depends on exactly how much work would be involved in getting heat.

    I wonder too if the previous owner was in the midst of installing ductwork for central air and heat and is selling in the middle of that work? If so, I think the possibility of having central air makes it still a decent deal.

    The carpet is gross and not stretched properly (visible in last photograph). Probably salvagable hardwood underneath it though.

  • Why does the listing say:

    Heating & Cooling

    * Natural Gas Heating

  • Steve: Pee doesn’t scare me. I really wanted to buy a old Victorian rowhouse at R and 1st that had, er, gone to the dogs for about 30-50 years and smelled like it. The floors were still okay (if scratched) and most of the plaster was still on the wall, but otherwise it was going to be a total redo. Lil’ Gal couldn’t get past the strong smell of wee-wee that she felt could never be abated, nor was she of a mind to stay in the efficiency apartment while I tried to wrangle permits out of the city, experimented with plumbing and electric, and killed myself on scaffolding. So, we ended up paying $$$ more for a fully done place in PW and I’m now posting on Prince of Petworth instead of … er… the Sultan of Shaw.

    If I was on my own I’d like to think I would have bought a place that needed fixing up, but much like my last house in Houston, I probably wouldn’t have done much other than wee-wee abatement and slamming a window unit in for the summer. I never had central AC in Houston (nor heat) after I left my paw’s house and I lived for five years with a car that had no AC at all (1967 Firebird), so top that Colonel K.

  • Odentex, I initially read that you lived IN a 67 Firebird with no AC. And I said to myself, wow, that dude is hardcore. Maybe I won’t argue with him on the boards.

  • Ocassionally I spent the night in it. Once I was stuck on a two-lane almost all night about 10 miles outside of Mexia, Texas (Anna Nicole Smith’s hometown) when my waterpump seized up and the ol’ 326 started boiling.

  • Okay, my name here kindof gives away my attitude, but I am quite fine without ac. my Petworth house still has the original connecting doors between the upstairs bedrooms – you open up the windows and the transoms, and you have often have a lovely breeze going through the house, even in the dog days of August. I have a window unit for my roommate for when she feels the heat, but myself – I’m only thinking of springing for a ceiling fan.

    Of course, I lived in Miami and Africa for 10 yrs…., so Washington heat is no big deal for me.

  • Odentex – was just joshing ya. Pee stains are pretty nasty. I bet there is a nice hardwood floor under that.

    Kay – What I was getting at, is the fact that installing duct work is something you can do. Or work out a deal with the HVAC contractor – you cut the floor in the spots he indicates, he installs the ducts, then you build soffits over them. Very doable.

  • I agree with Steve. I have a guy who gave me an estimate of $6K on the whole house, incl parts & labor (bit he’s kinda a friend of a friend)

  • That’s an amazing deal. Fantastic neighborhood, nice floor plan. Of course it will need a bunch of work, but houses in that neighborhood are still going for $500-$600, so even if you put a lot of money in, you would still be getting a great bargain. I mean, unless there’s something majorly wrong with it beyond carpets/heat etc. Like it’s haunted and/or needs a new roof and foundation.

Comments are closed.