Good Deal or Not? Vintage Gem Edition


This home is located at 1364 Taylor Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“Handsome and spacious bay fronted townhome on lovely block in Columbia Heights, easy stroll to Petworth Metro. Long term conscientious owner has taken excellent care of this vintage gem. New maple/granite/ss kitchen w/ brkfast bar, light-filled dining rm open to gracious living rm, ideal for entertaining. Top floor “loft” w/ brick wall perfect for yoga/meditation room.”

More info and photos found here.

I think this is a pretty cool property. Lots of cool details. I’m wondering what you think of wood floors in the kitchen? What do you think of the house in general? $525,000 sound reasonable?

26 Comment

  • I think it’s worth a little less, but i would happy if it sells for 525k. definitely has a lot of nice features. Calling it Columbia Heights is a little deceptive though…it is 3+ blocks from CH proper. One thing i don’t like is that they kept the original room divisions but didn’t keep any of the neat original trim. Also, they really should have replaced the ugly burgundy sink/toilet, and the ugly carpet, to try and sell it. One last thing…with the basement finished, branding the attic as a finished loft is a little worthless. where are you going to store all your junk?

  • I really like that part of Taylor, on the hill going down to Rock Creek Park. The house doesn’t have central air, which I believe is a must.

  • I’m looking to buy in the neighborhood and toured this one a little while ago. There is a lot to like, but ultimately there were a few things keeping me from being too excited about it. The upstairs bathroom situation is just strange – a half bath in the master plus a full right next to it in the hallway? Someone mentioned the burgundy sink and toilet and tub – worse in person than you can imagine. Carpets upstairs need to go, gaudy color choice and some fading. Some horrible wood paneling in the master bedroom as well.

    The living room/dining room area is lovely, really really nice. And the kitchen looks great in person (I wasn’t crazy about it in the pictures). There’s a cool bar sink.

    Most problematic besides the strange configuration of bedroom/bathroom upstairs was what you see when you’re in the backyard: a dilapidated property on one side (recently sold, so hopefully it will look better soon) and boarded up windows on the other side. Depressing for potentially spending half a mil+. I would also be interested to see how the cooling situation works – there was one window unit in the master bed and another in the dining room and that’s it. I imagine that the loft as well as the sunroom on the bedroom level (lots of windows but no way to put in an a/c unit) get mighty hot.

    I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily _over_ priced, it’s just that the things I would want to do to make it work for my needs would add up even if most are cosmetic. And no control over those boarded up neighbors. I do hope it makes someone very happy – it’s a lovely block.

  • I think the listing price is a little high but not by much and they will probably get some close offers to accept.

    It is obvious that the first floor has been renovated and the owner either ran out of money or energy to do the rest. The lack of central air will be a huge issue for most buyers.

    But comparable properties that are fully renovated are going for 100k more. There’s work to be done on this one sure, but I think the price is set accordingly.

  • This house is exactly why we have a housing crisis, when you pay 500k for this home, when are you going to sell it for 600k. Which brings me to a poing, how many people can pay 600 k for a home, perhaps they will be able to get some junk loan and 4 jobs to pay the loan back. This home should sell for about 350 to 400k.

  • Wood floors are great in kitchens and very common. Soft underfoot, and with the right protective sealant perfectly functional.

    That said, I don’t like the common sight of red oak wood floors with a similar species of cabinet. It misses contrast and presents a monotone look where the floor looks like it blends into the cabinets.

    This combination, along with black granite and mid range stainless steel is going to be the formica and almond color appliances of the future. 90% of new developments in DC have this kitchen look (some with tile floor, some with wood).

  • @blaw blaw blaw

    $500K purchase with %20 down – 400K 30 year loan at 5.25% interest = $2208.82/mo.
    $400K purchase with %20 down – 320K 30 year loan at 5.25% interest = $1767.06/mo.

    There are many other loan products available, and this doesn’t include other costs like taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance (if lower down payment) and of course maintenance, nor does it include the tax deductable interest.

    For some buyers, the numbers aren’t that far out of line with the cost of renting in DC. Buying isn’t for everyone, but it is right for some depending on means and personal circumstances.

  • blaw blaw, at 5% interest with a 15% down payment (which sounds like a lot to me but lots of people have savings, get inheritances, are moving up after selling a first home, etc.) a $600k house has mortgage payments of about $2700 a month. With utilities, maintenance, insurance, taxes, etc., let’s say $4000 a month. If you’re spending the recommended 30% of your income on housing each month, that means you need to be earning $160k a year.

    That’s a first-year associate at a big law firm (provided they haven’t gotten downsized!) or a couple of decently-paid federal employees…the average DC resident can’t afford it, sure, but lots of folks can. Since in 2005 the 80th percentile for household income in DC was $188k, I’d bet that more than a quarter of DC families at this point have incomes that would put them in range for that $600k house. Now, whether that quarter of the population would buy this particular house, who knows, but it’s not a crazy amount or a demonstration of why we have a housing crisis.

  • blaw blaw blaw sounds like a bitter renter.

  • I was struck by the phone on the wall in the kitchen. It’s funny because not too long ago, that would have been completely normal and now it looks so old-fashioned and out of place.

  • In blaw blaw blaw land, the house rents you!

  • Def. not Columbia Heights.

  • I just hope whoever buys it joins the Tivoli North cornhole league

  • At 14thandColumbia: according to the DC government’s real property sales database, this property is in Columbia Heights. The neighborhood line is fuzzy in this area (and lord knows I don’t want to start another debate about what it should be called!), but the realtor can legitimately say it’s in Columbia Heights.

  • We’ve been over it a million times…the real property database does not correspond to the actual neighborhood lines. Every definition of the Columbia Heights neighborhood has Spring Rd as its northern border.

  • At anon6:33: I agree, it’s not what we usually think of as Columbia Heights, but at least the realtor is using information with some basis in fact (as opposed to those listings that say “4 blocks to Metro” when anyone looking at a map can see that it’s at least 6).

  • 525 sounds very reasonable for a low level renovation not far from the metro whatever you call the neighborhood based on the current market.

    @Blaw Blaw Blaw, I hear your frustration with the current housing situation. For what it is worth, housing does not always appreciate much- learned that with my first place, bought at 118 and sold at 125 after 10 years (ancient history, and not in DC at the time, just FYI). It’s all in the timing. I know people who have lost big bucks buying at the wrong time. What are you gonna do? You need a place when you need a place. I don’t buy to make money. I buy to have a home. Hang in there.

  • Ahoy !

    Dear Blaw Blaw Blaw:

    I own an old two story brick with 9 foot ceilings, a basement with its own entrance, and two long parking spaces in the rear in Adams Morgan I’m willing to sell in your $350k to $400k range that overtime you can improve and modernize inside.

    It’s solid outside: 1900 construction, yellow brick front with a red sloped tin roof, vinyl double paned windows, and cool skylight above stairs. Colorful, well kept garden in front with a fat nearly 18 foot frontage, too.

    Leave an e-mail contact address with the Prince or somewhere on the Forum and I’ll write you back with more particulars if you or any other mates interested.

    Reformed Somali Pirate “Tantum Eruditi Sunt Liberi”

  • I’m interested

  • Thanks to everyone who responded to my DC housing cost fustration. Most of you are correct with regards to your summary of the current market. I still maintain that housing in DC cost way too much. This is the reason most home owners tend not to have cleaned and fixed up their homes. They are spending over 35% of ther monthly gross income on mortgage. However, I am a firm beliver in DC and I too will be come a home owner. I have 40k for down pymt and an income of 130k annual salary. What the heck can a guy like me do. Reformed SP, how can I get in contact with you to buy your house. If any one out there knows of any great deal let me know. To Anonymous Says. thank you for the mortgage analysis.

  • I used to live on this block of Taylor Street and that walk to the metro is a bit hairy (and takes a good ten minutes if you walk quickly). Buses go up and down 14th regularly (although they don’t stop at Taylor) which is nice, but it takes about 10-15 min on any of the 52,53,54 buses just to get to Columbia Heights metro stop. It’s not a bad neighborhood, just a little far out. I would say slightly overprices just based upon that alone.

  • blaw blaw blaw — Here is one that could be an interesting prospect. I don’t think it is on the market yet, but short sale has been started. I’m not too sure what the deal is or the condition of the house, but the neighborhood is good and close to the metro etc. etc.

  • Where can I get more information on the Tivoli North Cornhole League? Is there a website? Thanks

  • I’ve been looking at the market lately.

    To be honest, this house seems about 150k above many comparable properties in the area. opinion.

  • Though it says 47 days on the market, I could have sworn I saw this as an open house late last year. I remember the little bar in the hallway, the purple bathroom, and the shoe room vividly. I also remember them asking at least this much or more (not sure) and thinking how overpriced it was.

    I don’t get Taylor Street: it seems to have a lot of houses priced way above the neighboring streets.

  • It was first listed 9/25/08, although it came off the market between January and April. Waiting for the spring, I guess?

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