Good Deal or Not? “Refreshing, purse-pleasing Palace” Edition


This home is located at 651 8th Street, NE:

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The flier says:

“FIREWORKS! Refreshing, purse-pleasing Palace with full-sized 2BR/2.5BA (includes en suite MASTER and 1st flr powder), brand new and stylish kitchen, fresh walk-out basement, fireplace and classic mantel, HWF, Original stairs and posts, delightful deck, front-load Bosch laundry-Skip Up to Union Station, Hop Over to H Street Hot Spots, Escape to Eastern Market, Lunge to Lincoln Park!”

More info and photos found here.

This looks like a nice reno that has kept some original details. What do you think of the house itself? Does $599,000 sound reasonable?

41 Comment

  • About $125k too much. WAY too far from Metro.

  • Complete disagree with Anon 1:10. This is not “WAY too far from metro.” It’s about a 12 minute walk. From Union Station no less.

    This is also a beautiful, pleasant neighborhood. Given that houses usually sell for about 10% less than list this days in most neighborhoods, I’d say it’ll sell for $540k at least. Bear in mind that most people don’t put the list price as the amount they actually think they will sell it for. That would be foolish bargaining in a soft market. (And no, I don’t live in this neighborhood and never have, but I’ve always admired it)

  • I say not a good deal.

    There is a possibility that is better than it appears on the virtual tour but whomever took those photos should have their camera taken away, permanently. They are so bad I can hardly look at them. All of the photos seem to be taken pointed down at the ground while standing in the middle of the room. The only thing I can tell is that the kitchen is a hodgepodge of random corners, nooks and crannies, cobbled together with sticky-back floor tiles.

    I think this might be the first GDoN that I’ve seen that has photos of neither a bedroom nor a bathroom (in a finished house claiming to be move-in ready). I can only presume they are tiny or in terrible condition.

  • this is actually a good deal and I bet it will sell at that price. A friend of mine just looked a house similar in size and renovation, that was two blocks NORTH of H on 4th and three bids were put in that same day. I think folks still understimate this area near H Street.

  • This house is a block from the buses that run along H St. and like SG said, a really reasonable walk to Union Station. I don’t get the whole wanting to be super close to Metro thing anyway, but that’s a wholly different discussion.

    This is a great house, and probably only a tiny bit overpriced but only because that stretch of 8th street has some crime issues (purse snatching and the like, usually at that bus stop). Of course, the corner of H and 8th is vastly improved since the neighbors were successful in getting the ISUPK preachers removed from that corner.

  • Yeah, if I had $600k to spend on a house I’d probably buy the 4br place on Monroe in Columbia Heights we looked at last week over a 2br in Capitol Hill 8 blocks from the Metro.

  • What are those awful photos hiding? Besides any meaningful view of the kitchen, the back of the property, the bedrooms, and the bathrooms?

  • Damn PoP, you really are touring my ‘hood of late, aren’t you.

    I live on Pickford Place (the one-block street between 8th and 9th, a half-block over from this house). The first commenter apparently has never been to this area or is just a crank, as it is by no means “WAY too far from Metro.” It’s 15 minutes, tops, an easy walk through a very safe neighborhood. It’s also a 15-minute walk to Eastern Market. This house is also located directly on one major bus line (the 90s, which will take you to U Street and Adams Morgan), a skip from the X2 line (which will take you to Gallery Place and Downtown) and a jump from the D6 (Penn Quarter, downtown, Georgetown).

    I’ve been here more than a year and have yet to experience any crime. I often get off the bus at the stop Nichole mentioned, often after midnight, and don’t feel the slightest bit afraid.

    This house will sell at its asking price, or at least very close to it. The commenter who said it was $125k overpriced has no idea what he or she is talking about.

  • great house but a 2 BR in that area? i’d say it won’t sell unless price reduced up to $100K.

  • The photos suck, but whoever wrote that copy should be given command of a major newspaper. “Lunge to Lincoln Park”…that’s hilarious and awesome.

  • I bet it sells for somewhere hovering around 500

  • @Cap Hill, I’m glad you’ve never experienced any crime there, and maybe you don’t subscribe to the Alert DC texts, but it’s disingenuous, bordering on downright dishonest to discount that that particular block has some issues. I don’t feel unsafe walking there, but I am definitely more cautious on that block, particularly with my belongings, than on some others.

    That said, those of you who are saying >100K price reduction must be really unfamiliar with the area and what real estate is going for down there.

  • The area has really skyrocketed in the last year for this area. It is a lot better now and lots of development going on. For 1000ft lot and small house, I think it’s too much, but within reason. Last year or 2 years ago, I would laugh at anyone who bought a place in that area for 600K.

  • Well actually, the property was purchased at the top of the market in 2005. I would assume they renovated the property and looking for a small return on their investment.

    Prediction…they will be writing a check to their mortage company to cover the difference and the property will sell for $510K.

  • @ Mark, yeah I saw that they purchased for $529k in 2005 and the listing says the kitchen is brand-new, so they at least did that. I could actually see them getting $550k or so and at least getting some of their money back from the upgrade, if not fully breaking even. They’d still be doing better than most who bought back then, though, given that the neighborhood has improved.

  • They have a handful of nice new bars and restaurants over there, but it still seems way too detached from everywhere else in the city and a little too much blight. $525k i could see…there are a lot of other places i would be if i had $600k to spend on a 2 bedroom.

  • Nichole, find me a block in most areas east of the park that doesn’t have “some issues.”

  • @Cap Hill, I can find you a lot of blocks on the Hill that have fewer of the kinds of issues I’m talking about than that particular one. I’m not saying it’s “sketchy” or “bad” or any of those things. Just that compared with nearby blocks, that one’s had more trouble – likely a result of the bus stop.

    I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m saying that if that house were a block south (or even east or west), they’d probably get closer to what they’re asking.

  • There’s a “North DC” bias on this blog. Which isn’t surprising obviously since this is the Prince of Petworth after all. But cmon.. this area is an extremely desirable location for most. The level of crime here pales in comparison to even Adams Morgan, much less U Street, Columbia Heights, etc. I think some of you are also underestimating how close this is to Eastern Market, Barracks Row, etc… 15-20 min walk through some of the best neighborhoods.

  • SG, how can it be a 15 min walk to Eastern Market if it’s also 15 minutes from Union Station, as others here have commented? Look at the map. It’s twice as far from the former as it is from the latter.

  • com·men·ta·tor

    That block and most of NE is a Zoo, try waiting at the bus top and see what happens.

  • I agree with SG. I live on the Hill – I’d live in this spot before I’d move to NW, in a heartbeat. This is probably as far North as I’d be willing to live, in fact.

    I’m not saying it’s crime-ridden by any stretch, and I can see where if I lived closer by I’d definitely get a bit defensive – which wasn’t what I meant to drum up by saying that that block sees more crime than some others. More that it’s busier – with all that that implies.

  • @Anon 2:47, I’d say that you can be at Eastern Market in 15-20 minutes and Union Station from there in 10 or under.

  • “The level of crime here pales in comparison to even Adams Morgan, much less U Street, Columbia Heights, etc.”

    Just out of curiosity, what gives you this idea? The 1st district appears to have about the same number of overall crimes, and about 40% more homicides than the 3rd district, through 2008 according to MPD’s web site.

    Considering that the 3rd district is probably a lot more populous, that doesn’t support your theory at all.

  • This city’s crime stats are almost laughable. A stat only gets recorded if the police file a report. So guess what? Crime prevention through karma.

  • Seems overpriced to me too. I say it goes for ~$500Kish.

  • @Nichole–would love to hear your theory on why living close to the Metro is a bad thing…especially with those burglar bars ;).

  • Since we are on the subject. I have been to CapHill a few times over the years, can someone enlighten me as to why it is so great? Never understood the atraction, the housing is more expensive in comparison to most parts of the city, and besides the market what am i missing?

  • I think, instead of the next PoP clean up day, we should arrange a brawl between H Streeters and Petworthians to settle the score once and for all — whose neighborhood is more overvalued!?!


  • Anon at 1:49 — too late. The one on Monroe has a “sale pending” sign up.

  • $599k for a place this small with only street parking and no back yard? Yeah, I’m thinking $125k overpriced isn’t too far off. And just because someone will probably pay over $500k for it doesn’t mean it isn’t overpriced.


  • No back yard, no parking, 2 bedrooms (not shown), odd looking kitchen, and no bathrooms shown. Not knowing much about the neighborhood I would have to say not a good deal. Maybe 500k.

  • Skeletor: For better or for worst, we can only go by MPD crime stats. Thus, is the reason to get residents to call and take an active role in their neighborhood and get the real numbers. I believe there are more residents stepping up and trying to a difference.

    As for the amount of ‘crime’ surrounding (within 1000 feet) the property, you can at least expect to see the police at least 200 times throughout the year. Talk about community policing. This seems a bit on the high side. If you were to look at Adams Morgan along 18th Street, you would see the police taking over 350 reports throughout the year for an area that has more density. A more quiter neighborhood in the City would normally see about 60 to 90 police reports.

  • 833 5th street is not a good deal, no back yard, durnks on the front porch

  • I didn’t write the above message @ 10:04 pm 🙁

  • I’ve been thinking a lot about how to articulate my answer to @rg… the first things that come to mind about why I chose to move to the Hill so many years ago are: low crime; when there is crime (such as when a young lady’s iPhone was snatched right on my corner on Memorial Day Weekend, while a party was happening on my patio) somewhere between 5 and 10 police cars showed up in response; beat cops (in addition to door to door warnings of when there’s been an uptick in crime in the neighborhood); dog friendly (multiple DPR approved parks on the way, Congressional, Lincoln Park, Dogma, multiple pet stores); kid friendly (I don’t have kids, but I like knowing that my neighbors who do, have all the amenities to raise them here – day care options, toy stores, businesses who love to host them for meals etc, plus Hill-O-Ween and other year round activities), other amenities – grocery stores, retail, bars, gyms, restaurants, Frager’s, the libraries; the Marine Barracks; the stadiums; proximity to the waterfront; proximity to downtown; the block parties; low density; our quirky old houses and our collective love for them and our old cobblestone sidewalks; the history; Schneider’s, Mangialardo’s, Tunnicliff’s and all the other neighborhood institutions.

    Asking someone to defend Capitol Hill is like asking anyone to defend where they live. There are as many practical, pragmatic answers (close to downtown, low crime) as there are more intangibles (fierce sense of community, “it’s pretty and has great views,” tight knit etc). I love it here, and it doesn’t make the Hill better or worse than anyplace else, it just is what it is. Why are the houses expensive? They same reason they are in other DC neighborhoods where housing is expensive.

    And for whoever asked about “why living near Metro is bad” – that’s not what I said. I just said I didn’t get why people wanted to do so. I would never want to live near so much high density, commercial development, with people coming and going all the time in front of my house – but that’s just me. I never said it was a bad thing – I just don’t get it. I’m just not a fan of high density, and that the Hill provides a low density,residential, urban setting – it’s the best of all worlds for me. That’s nothing more than a personal preference but I’ll still never understand the appeal of living in an Adams Morgan or a Georgetown. But, then again, I’m old and prefer drinking wine and playing cornhole on my patio with my friends, neighbors and dog to.. well, most everything else.

    Oh, but one thing about the Hill – no decent delivery pizza. Curbside Matchbox pick up is fine, but I’d kill for a decent delivery outfit.

  • OK, well now we’ve established that some people cannot wrap their heads around why people want to live in Capitol Hill, and other people cannot fathom living near the metro.

    So why do we care about this? Oh, right. We don’t.

  • @Nichole

    I live close to Metro on the Hill and close to a modest commercial strip. The Hill has 4 Metro stops compared to 0 in Georgetown and Adams Morgan combined. Metro access is not exclusive to densely populated areas.

    You’re overlooking some of the obvious benefits. More foot traffic and eyes promote safety. Shorter walk to Metro, buses, Fragers, CVS, etc. Bigger front yards. Elevated and off the street.

    A little noisier towards the facade, but not terribly. Plenty of strictly residential blocks on the Hill are equally noisy (ie Mass Ave east of Stanton Park), Independence Ave., 8th St.

  • @Anon – I would rather trade the short walk for less foot traffic. I personally prefer less foot traffic. But, it’s personal preference. Where I live, I’m about 8-10 blocks from either Eastern Market or Union Station, and I like it that way. Like I said – personal preference. I just don’t understand wanting a ton of people walking past your house all the time, but some people like that. I’m not opposed to the concept of Metro (though, I can’t remember the last time I’ve used it, and living close to a station wouldn’t change that) it’s just that I prefer not to live near it.

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