Good Deal or Not? “Gleaming hardwood floors” Edition


This house is located at 4104 New Hampshire Ave., NW:

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The flier says:

“Spacious Petworth rowhouse just blocks from Petworth Metro station. Gleaming hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, 3 bedrooms with den, 3 full baths, (one on each level), large closets and parking. Fine to live in as is or use FHA-203K to renovate to your taste. Property sold in As-Is condition.”

More info and photos found here.

Well I think this one looks pretty good. It’s looks nicely done though I’m a bit frightened by the “As-Is condition” in the description. What do you guys think – looks good? $320,000 sound reasonable?

29 Comment

  • Looks perfect for someone who doesn’t want a dump, but doesn’t want something that has been over renovated to the taste the developer deems will appeal to the most people. As is is a little scary, but at least the basement is unfinished, so an inspection should reveal any structural issues.

  • I think it’s reasonable…my guess is it’ll go for around $308. It’s definitely liveable (if I lived there, I’d probably do central air and paint before moving in, since that’s a pain, then over time work on landscaping and updating the kitchen and bathrooms). 3 bathrooms is awesome, since so many rowhouses are 3 bedroom with only 1 bath. They also kept a lot of the old touches, which I like. It’s probably as-is because it’s a short sale.

  • Call me crazy but I like it because it hasn’t been overrenovated. I’d offer $305,000.

  • Looks like a good deal!

  • After looking at the pictures and considering the area…I was thinking about 325 before looking at the price. So yes, I think 320 is good, especially for the space.

  • If you look closely at the basement pics — there are signs of water leakage and damage. And the attic views look a little suspect as well. Overall, 320K isn’t bad if you plan to invest another 80-100K for renovation costs.

  • I remember just a few years ago when a house like this would go for the mid 400k easily. I’ve seen a lot of houses where as is means a total dump that smells and you’d run out of. Looks totally livable and as someone above posted, it’s not overly renovated. It should go fast if there’s nothing wrong with it.

  • As is is good! As long as you know what is is.
    That’s what a home inspection is for.
    I don’t get today’s real estate market where if not every I is dotted and every T crossed there’s something wrong with the property.
    HGTV is largely to blame for picking up this ball and running with it.
    It’s all advertising. You have to renovate a house in order to sell a house so that the next owner can re-renovate the house to his tastes, and maybe renovate it again before he sells it and so on and so on and so on. Who benefits? Contractors and Home Depot and Lowes.
    We have all been made into suckers who believe that stainless steel, granite, crown moulding (which by the way isn’t) are de rigeur.
    Where is the American spirit? Where hath our originality gone? Our rugged inidividualism?
    Granite counter tops my ass.

  • One of the best deals I’ve seen featured on here, so long as there is not something drastically wrong with the interior. Three beds / three baths is great, and I think most of the interior looks fantastic as is. As others have said, invest 100k in central air, kitchen, and sprucing up the exterior abit, and you’ll have a large, gorgeous house that would ordinarly go for well over 500k.

  • I like the details they left and the addition looks solid. It’s a little far north for my taste, but definitely metro accessible. I agree with 300-325.

  • Looks like a good deal. What’s with all the big rocks in the back yard?

  • Anon 2:58, I feel the same way about the renovation craze. I also think ripping out things that are perfectly fine and working and putting in cheap crap that will need to be replaced again in 10 years is wasteful and enivornmentally unfriendly. Fixing up a house that’s not livable is another thing. I support that. But if it’s livable – leave it alone!

    As to this house, maybe I am crazy and/or the market has fallen more than I realized but I think the price looks too low! I could see up to $375k. Although I suppose its value is lower because it’s on New Hampshire Ave. But houses like these rent for $2300-2500 and your payment would be much lower than that so it looks like a great deal.

  • I’m curious — how much might it cost to install central AC in a place like this?

  • i don’t think a house in this location would “ordinarly go for well over 500k.” The median home price of the area is in the 300s. only a handful of properties in this particular neighborhood sell for 550k+. And it doesn’t have the potential to be a top property because it is right on new hampshire with all the traffic, and the outdoor space leaves a lot to be desired. i think it’s a good deal at it’s current price, but you couldn’t renovate it and double it’s value.

  • Christina, we just had a replacement done for our house, about same size but a lot better insulated, and it was $6k. I did some of the work, too. For new, with no ducts, etc? You are talking $25K or more.

    And as is means there is a lot that needs to be done. I bet it needs a new roof and the basement surely needs some structural reinforcement. Also, electricla nad plumbing are going to need some work. I truly, as a person in the building trade, think this would need about $150K in work.

  • doh, sorry about typos!

  • Thanks Joe! I was just curious. I didn’t even know you could have air conditioning without ducts.

    I also like the fact that it’s not OVER renovated; I believe that it could need some substantial work, but it also appears, as much as one can tell from pictures, that you could live there while at least some of that work is going on.

  • I checked this place out. It looks a lot better in the small tour pics. I think the place is overpriced because of the work it needs. Add 125K and you’re looking at a 450K house in this neighborhood… no thanks.

    Sometimes it’s better to get a place stripped to the walls. Such places go for 150-200K in this neighborhood and require 150K of work. In other words, you can buy the place above for 320K and put in 125K of work for a total of 445K, or you can just buy something in worse condition for 150-200K and add 150K in renovation costs for a total of 300-350K for a brand new completely renovated place.

  • It seems like a pretty good deal, I think it will sell for $300k.

  • Just always always have a home inspection and get the Home Inspector Nazi, if you can. You want to know every little thing. Check out to find one.

  • I absolutely love my concrete countertops, and it bugs me when I watch hgtv and they ding sellers for not having granite (a few grand would solve that if it’s a burning issue). I also love my NO INSTALLED MICROWAVE, and I’m sure some potential buyer might balk at that too. I loved ripping out a cramped 25 year old kitchen with melamine cabinets and even older appliances. Guilt free — it was like putting an old dog out of its misery.

  • I am curious why nobody is commenting on the “Short Sale” here. it is very unlikely this place will set at all! It may even end up for sale later for more money after the bank forecloses on it. I agree 150K of work puts this place at 420K-500K. No way.

  • I don’t see where anybody could possibly think that this house needs 125k worth of work. I can see that it could use some kitchen upgrades and to finish the basement, but both of those could be done for 25k tops. Even if it needs a new roof – you can do that for about 5k. Don’t know where Joe is getting his info about electrical or plumbing, but even if it needs some basic fixes it could be done for under 1k. The house appears to be in totally fine shape.

    Central air is definitely not a necessity. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a house that HAD central air. I don’t even use window units. Different strokes…

    It looks like a good deal to me – not a steal, but not a rip-off. looks like it’s priced well and they’ll probably get somewhere around asking (if they ever sell it — good point on the short-sale thing, don’t know why anyone would bother with one of those!)

  • The price isn’t bad but there’s no way to tell just by looking at pictures if this is a good deal or not. LOVE the fact that this house hasn’t been over-renovated but it doesn’t look like much else has been done either. If you look at the picture of the rear, you’ll notice cinder blocks which tells me that an owner did some work to try and solve the water issues that almost all Petworth houses have. Other than that, I start thinking: new roof, electrical, check the plumbing, radiators, knock down that kitchen wall, update the 2nd floor bathroom, and things start adding up…

    In terms of what this house would be worth fixed up? I think people forget that no one is buying a house these days with the mentality that they can flip it in 2 years or less. Petworth is a changing neighborhood with lots of revitalization. Put another way: if you bought this house and immediately put 80K worth of work into it, I don’t think you’d be “underwater.”

  • I don’t think “as is” always means significant costly repairs are needed. Like so many others said, having a home inspection is pretty standard. In the case of a short sale, the “as is” more likely means the seller is in no financial position to sweeten the deal with offers of new appliances or the like, and doesn’t have time to make any repairs because the wolf is at the door.

    It looks like an okay deal to me.

  • funny, my first reaction was “are they KIDDING? are they KIDDING? are they KIDDING? I wouldn’t start getting catty about that house until it hit $499K.” But after thinking on it a bit, and imagining living on New Hampshire Avenue, the lower price seems perhaps warranted. I still think it’s an extraordinary value. Looks like a pretty big house with the book wide open on what you could do with it. As other posters have noted, you could squeak by with $25K in upgrades, or you could easily spend $125K or more. Depends on what you want. Also note it’s a short sale – someone’s underwater on it. Started and couldn’t finish before running out of money. Great opportunity.

  • I took a look at the house (and ran into POP on the corner!) last weekend. I agree that the pictures make it look much nicer than it actually is. It was a no for me because of the yard (or lack thereof). The floors are pretty and the living room with the columns is a neat feature. I too like that it has not been over-renovated. But the inside feels very, very dark. There seemed to be no windows in the back of the house so it felt a bit like a cave. As to the price, I guess it depends if there is a lid that likes the pot for those $$. My bet would be no.

  • Great deal – should sell for more than asking price. Liveable with $0 in upgrades

  • Went in it today. I liked it. Would like it more if it wasn’t on NH. The basement needs a sub pump. The walls need paint. The main floor bath needs to be re-done. The back yard needs some sweat and tears. And ac would be nice. But all and all, still a good deal.

    Buy it for $329k, put $30k into it for stuff that needs to be done right now. Wait 5 yrs. Put another $30-40k into it to make it fancy schmancy. Sell in another 5 yrs for $550k.

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