Good Deal or Not? Complete Renovation Edition


This home is located at 425 Irving Street, NW:

View Larger Map

The flier says:

“3 levels of fully finished space, completely renovated from top to bottom and nothing spared as part of this spacious and spectacular renovation. Hardwood floors throughout, a spectacular kitchen with an amazing backyard for all those great Summer parties coming up. From here you have amazing Metro & bus access to around the city. Park the car and kick up your feet!Open House 4/19/09 1-5pm”

More info and a virtual tour found here and the home’s Web site found here.

I’m always curious to hear what you guys think of complete renovations. Does $445,000 sound reasonable?

29 Comment

  • I went in this place a few weeks ago, as they were still finishing up a few things. It is VERY nice inside.

  • seems reasonable to me. There aren’t very good comps, but the closest ones have higher prices due to their better location.

    there are a few things that irritate me.

    I hate puny sinks shoved into corners. You can’t even fill up a pot to boil water in one of those things. Let alone actually do dishes. Yes there’s a dishwasher but sometimes that is a waste of water.

    A ‘full bath’ has a tub, not a shower. If a room has a toilet, sink, and shower, it is called a 3/4 bath, not a full bath.

    Purple crown moulding on the cabinets? seriously? Don’t know what that’s about but its weird.

  • The place looks tight I would say its a good deal. The location isn’t that great, and not telling is right the purple crown moulding is fuuuuuuugly.

  • what’s up with the funny little windows in the back of the house?

  • I’m pretty much in love with this house! The oddly purple crown moulding can always be repainted. Always a good conversation topic, though.

  • Which Metro would you take for a southbound trip?

  • @elevenIrving likes the H4 bus to brookland metro. But I would think you would walk to 11th st and catch the 64 south to Metro Center

  • That’s Intangible Town right there. And yep, I’d screw the metro & just take the southbound busses from sherman (rush hour) or 11th (anytime). Based on the extent of the renovations, it seems a fair price (or at least, it’s in context). There’s been a lot of renovation work on this stretch of Irving, so there’s a mix of rotten units & exquisite ones. Good people.

    It’s also very close to the heli-pad side of Washington Hospital Center, which might annoy some people but it doesn’t bug me… WHC helicopters are a helluva lot quieter than the police variety.

  • Doesn’t that stretch of Irving get A LOT of street traffic? Seems like it could get pretty noisy…I mean…”vibrant.”

  • I like it. It’s a nice blank slate, purple moulding notwithstanding. (Odd choice for a developer, no?)

    However, if I had been in charge of a total overhaul like this, I would have made a little foyer around the front door. I’ve lived in houses with the front door opening straight into the living room, and vastly prefer even a little separation, especially in winter months. You lose a little living space, but it’s not like you’re going to park the la-z-boy in those 20 square feet anyway.

  • I agree with “Not” up there…purple molding is silly – and very distracting. And the kitchen sink is just stupid – it’s morelike a wetbar sink. And look at that “full” bath closely – note the door to the vanity – it just looks like it’d swing out and slam into that shower wall…and what’s up with the totally unused space to the left of the vanity/behind that shower wall?? Stupid.

    Otherwise, seems quite nice.

  • We looked at a couple of places on that block recently… while they were very nice (and this one is no exception) the street just wasn’t very neighborhoody. I would pay about $20k less than asking on that place.

  • Regarding “Not Telling” comment above. A full bath is defined as a sink, toilet, and a shower or tub, or even both. No such thing as a 3/4 bath. A 1/2 bath is just a sink and toilet.

  • Monkey:
    True, but snot so bad. There’s lots of hospital-bound traffic, and of course the afternoon flood of dipshites speeding back to wherever their MD license plates came from. But it’s not nearly as bad as Columbia Rd., one block south. People come off that overpass onto Columbia like they’re attempting to achieve f*ckin’ ORBIT with their vehicles.

    One nice thing is, after a certain hour of evening, the ambulance drives tend to kill the siren noise when they come off Georgia, until they’re past the two blocks of houses. Not always, but often.

  • Original features left in this house:
    1. Beautiful wood floors
    2. 1 door (door to basement that can be seen in kitchen photos).

    I think this house looks like it was renovated on the cheap. Bathroom features look blah! And rather than putting in time and money to restore original features or purchase new but old looking features, it looks like the developers built this home from the isles of Home Depot. This house has NO CHARACTER!

    I guess they are trying to make at least 200k profit from their purchase price of $175K about 9 months ago.

    I know its easier when replacing plumbing and wiring – but dry wall just does not have the same aesthetic as plaster, and don’t even get me started on the $20 panel doors from HD. FUGLY!

  • I think the renovation overall is very nice and the price is close to right. Personally I prefer houses with a lot of the older details still intact, but then again there are moments where I’d give my right arm for central air or for my house to be less of a money pit. This doesn’t seem to be a typical flip renovation – the kitchen has nice details, the appliances are good. I like all the recessed lights.

    The location isn’t the most convenient, but if this house were closer to the Columbia Heights metro it would be a lot more expensive, too (if it were within 3 blocks of the metro it would probably cost $600K or more). So it’s a tradeoff, but one a lot of people would be willing to make.

    Though the backyard definitely needs a lot of work, it’s great that it’s fenced in and seems like a good amount of space.

    My guess is it sells pretty quickly and within $10-15K of the asking price.

  • I also hate recessed lighting. It is OK as additional lighting, but not as the main lighting for a room. So I guess this place is just not my style.

    Original features do not need to be money pits. And it seems much more eco friendly to retain old features that need a little love rather than tossing old features and wasting energy/resources to build new ones.

    Radiators are so much better than hot air and you can now get high velocity air conditioners that do not need large vents installed. Ta Da!

  • recessed lighting doesn’t have to be the “main lighting for a room.” just buy some lamps.

    personally i wish i had recessed lighting instead of the ugly track lights.

  • I’ve walked by this place every day for a year. What a super location for anyone who works at the hospitals!

    Is there also a view of the reservoir from the rooftop? If so, there could be room for a sweet deck up there! And if you have pets, there’s a great big field for large dogs to romp around — across the street.

  • Three things: 1) who does a complete gut job with purple molding in the kitchen? 2) i want to make babies with that washer dryer 3) the layout of that basement bathroom looks horrendous.

  • 200k profit? Are you implying that they renovated the house for $25K? I’d put this renovation at somewhere between $110k and $135k, and this is what I do for a living.

    Also the purple crown molding is so bad that I’m hoping it’s some kind of practical joke or gimmick to get attention.

  • Trubs–nobody does plaster anymore. Get over it.

  • As the listing agent I can let everyone know we finally got the painter back to change the PURPLE crownmolding as it definitely YELLED are you kidding!

    The pics will be updated shortly so you browse easy once again!

  • A little late on my response and nobody is probably reading this post anymore ..

    @ Dave – The house was bought for 175K. So in order to make a 200k profit with a sales price of 445k, the developers could have spent no more than 70k to make that profit.
    I am not a developer, but I am renovating my home … which had no working bathroom, no working kitchen, needed all new plumbing (including outdoor drains), many new electrical wiring, some new windows, floors needed to be either replaced or refinished, and lots of paint scrapping and repainting. We are close albeit not completely done with the renovations but have spent less than half of 70k so far. So I was basing my renovation estimate on this scenario. Albeit it may be way off for estimates from contracting companies.

    @ not telling – Maybe I am taking this too personally, but I found your “Get over it” comment to be rather rude. Isn’t this supposed to be a friendly neighborhood blog? Can’t we all just get along?
    I am not proposing putting in new plaster walls, but rather, I am proposing that developers work around the plaster walls that are already there. I know some old homes have cracked plaster and that is very hard to fix. In my 100 year old home, we are lucky and have only 2 ceilings and 1 wall that will need to be replaced with dry wall due to cracked plaster.
    We are doing all that we can to put in any new wiring or plumbing into the existing walls. Of course, if we build a new wall (as we are in the basement) we will use dry wall.

  • Trubs is right in terms of cost. However, most developers do use contractors and contractors usually have a mark up that reflects 60% costs and 40% profit. So these guys probably put about $125,000 into the house if they used contractors.

    I actually have a personal interest in the property. I am a developer myself and I put an off in on the property. I can tell you that the purchase price of the property was $175,000 but the previous seller refused to pay either agent. So the buyer had to negotiate with each agent on top of the purchase price.
    I projected the purchase price at the time to be about $200,000 with all agent fees and whatnot. I didnt like that so I made a lowball offer and walked away.

    You have to figure with utilities, mortgage payments, and the previously mentioned costs, these guys have invested at least $375K in this property. Developing is nowhere as cheap as you might think.

  • I’ve seen this house and it looks great. It is surprisingly spacious and has a great deal of potential and has a very bright, airy feel. It is definitely move-in ready. I doubt it will be on the market very long.

  • I saw this house and I thought it was beautiful. I love the hardwood floors and the amount of natural light that flows thru the space despite the fact that it is a row house.

  • I’ve been in and looked through and thinks its a pretty good deal for its price.

  • I saw this place during an open house and, although I was really impressed with it at the time, it looks like they’ve done even more since I was there. The finished basement is awesome and adds so much more square footage to the house (could be a mother-in-law suite, or just guest rooms). Everything is brand new and very clean looking but I do think it reserves some of the original charm (I think you’d have to see it in person – hard to tell from the pictures). Plus the kitchen is amazing, and that’s coming from someone who cooks every day (even better with the crown molding fixed). I think this house is a gem, especially in this particular neighborhood, so I’d say the asking price is spot on.

Comments are closed.