Good Deal or Not? “In Need of Repair” Edition


This home is located at 824 Otis Place, NW:

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The flier says:


More info but sadly no photos found here.

I know folks don’t like GDoN without photos but I was intrigued by the price on this one. It’s close to the metro and all the happenings on 11th Street, NW. So does $250,000 sound reasonable? Even if you need to put in some money seems like it could be a good deal. What do you guys think?

32 Comment

  • I just love “4+ blocks from metro” – Is this like we’re all 4+ feet tall or 4+ years old?

  • If it were fully renovated and cost $350,000, I’d say it was a decent deal. Given the fact that it doesn’t qualify for a convention FHA loan, that means it’s pretty much unlivable, but nothing $100,000 worth of repairs couldn’t fix. So $250k + $100k in repairs seems like a good deal. However, the buyer is assuming some risk when the reward is only a house that is in a state that it should have been in the first place for the same price.

    This is probably a good deal for a contractor, but not a good deal for your average homebuyer.

  • I agree with JustMe, but I think it’s almost a better opportunity – instead of buying someone else’s vision, you can build the interior you want.

  • This is like the first listing I’ve ever seen that OVERestimates the distance to the Metro.

  • I am thinking that this is one of those situations where a price war is supposed to ensue.

  • it’s a dump in a seedy, sketchy part of this area. no sale!

  • A block from Park Morton? NO THANKS! I prefer not being beaten by roving bands of thugs on a daily basis.

  • I am always floored by the taxes.
    Could someone out there explain?
    # Total Taxes: $3,546.22
    # Total Taxes Frequency: Annually
    # City Tax: $3,148.20
    First question: What is Total taxes and City Tax. The difference here is $398.02?
    I have a house in this area and I pay my taxes twice a year in equal installments.
    Maybe I should look more closely at my bill.
    Second question: Why are the taxes so high? My house, which is larger, in a better (much) part of the neighborhood and in good shape has taxes far less than half of this house.
    If it helps, I bought my house in 1980 and have no mortgage.

  • anon on 13th,
    look at the taxable assessment of your house. there is a cap on how much that can go up year to year if you’re living in it. in other words, you’re not paying tax on what your house is worth.

    once someone buys a house, they’re starting from the current assessment, which is WAY higher than 1980.

  • Thank you rep.
    I figured it was something like that, however, still, if you or someone else knows, what is the difference between city tax and total taxes AND doesn’t anyone else think that the taxes on this property are rather high?

  • i dont know about city tax and total tax.hhmmm… but hell yeah the tax is too high. while it will still be high, this is probably the unoccupied rate. once you move in you apply for the homestead exemption. i dont remember what the rates are though….

  • DC tax is 1% of the city assessed value. So by this figure, it seems the city has assessed the house somewhere around $350,000. The homestead deduction takes a fixed amount off the assessed value – somewhere around 60k. So for this house, assessed at $350,000 would then be taxed on $290,000 (assuming the owner lives in the house) and so taxes would be $2,900 /year.

  • @rep – the unoccupied rate is actually 10%, so that’s not what the value is. the assessed value is based on the neighborhood value, so the actual amount for that specific house will not likely be captured.

    @Trubs – actually, it’s 0.85% after the first $67,500.

  • here are the tax rates for DC real estate:,a,1330,q,594394.asp

    you can check the assessed value for something here:

  • I gotta say this is an excellent deal. If you put 100K into this place you could easily have a fantastic house that is worth more than your final dollar value. I feel like a nicely renovated house (which is rare in this area — and thus adds to the appeal) would sell for 400+.

  • @You’ve got to be kidding: I live less than a block from Park Morton and nobody has ever bothered me or my wife or my kids. There are no roving bands of thugs. There are some shady characters who live there, but there are some shady characters who live in most of this part of the District. You’re altogether more likely to get mugged over by CH metro. Might want to tone down your uninformed hysteria a wee bit.

  • Just out of curiosity… what is included in your $100k reno?

  • You’ve Got To Be Kidding Says:

    August 27th, 2009 at 2:31 pm
    A block from Park Morton? NO THANKS! I prefer not being beaten by roving bands of thugs on a daily basis.


  • Ok, well we don’t know totally how bad of shape it is in… I’m assuming no major structural issues except some minor brick work AND usually this houses need a new sun porch out back.

    So with 100k I figure you could gut the house, put up new walls, new bathrooms and kitchen. Probably wouldn’t have room in that budget for a/c. but for another 15k you would.

  • I just had friends complete a $100k renovation that ended up costing $150k.

  • I checked it out a couple of weeks ago. As reflected in the price, it is dump and likely has structural issues. The ceiling in the living room is collapsing and it probably used to be a boarding house based on the metal gates on the upstairs bedroom doors. I’d be surprised if it goes for $250K.

    It’s worth checking out to talk with the crazy man who lives there. He went on and on about gay President Obama and how he is ruining the housing market. The shrine to Obama that he has in living room added to the surealness of the encounter.

  • Anon 4:54 – there is a for-sale-by-owner on the 1300 block of Meridian Pl, probably a bit pricier with equally as much work, but a much better location.

  • We’ve never had any trouble on this block other than the semi-pro littering that is endemic to the whole area. Somewhat unsavory crowd at weekends en route to and from the House, but that seems to have died down a lot lately — the recession, perhaps?

    I’m pretty sure he’ll take quite a lot less than $250K, given that the original asking price when he put it on the market for a while a couple of months ago was $190K.

  • If there are no major structural issues I would say good deal. I would imagine you could make this very livable for 100-150k. Its obviously less than 4 blocks to the PW metro. I don’t know much about this Park Morton area, the block is between two major roads so it could have some trafffic but its small enough to know all of your neighbors names. I think its in a great location, very close to everything that is happening CH and everything that will eventually happen in PW.

  • The agent is definitely damning the neighbors with faint praise. “Nice Looking Neighborhood” makes it seem like neighborhood homes are OK, definitely not great, but as for your neighbors, they are AS IS, so buyer beware.

  • Hey, I’m one of the neighbors and this is a VERY tight knit and extremely nice block! Everyone looks out for each other and hangs out on whomever’s porch. The whole block had a baby shower last summer for its newest resident!

  • Homebuyer beware!! I was inside this house soon after it went on the market (and I met one of the neighbors – lovely woman). This house needs to be priced at $100,000 because anyone that buys it is gonna have $200,000 worth of gutting and renovation to do. Story is, the guy that used to live there was psychotic. I did not even bother to go upstairs because I could see the upstairs through the “ceiling” on the main floor. The back bathroom on the 2nd floor is sinking into the kitchen below… you get the idea. This will need to be completely gutted.

  • In defense of the neighborhood — I live on Morton Street and have genuinely never had trouble with the Park Morton crowd. As in much of Park View, the littering is out of control. And there are a lot of people out on the street, probably because the Park Morton apartments are in such bad shape that it’s much more pleasant to hang around outside than inside. No roving bands of thugs, though, and most of the young men who hang out in front of my house are courteous and polite, offering to help with my groceries, etc.

  • How is otis pl up through Park Pl? What else is coming to the area besides the cvs?

  • I recently took a look at the house and it needs serious repairs, but so do most of the homes in that price range…I guess owning a house for the price of a condo comes with some drawbacks. Anyone check out the back yard?

    What is going on with the abandoned apartment building to the east (almost at the corner of Georgia and Otis)? I think that and the various dilapidated garages add to the “sketchy” feeling of this block. Can the owners of the garages be encouraged to fix (or at least re-board them up)?

  • I live on the 600 block of Otis and it’s a perfectly nice block. There are many families, children play in the front yards, adults sit on their porches, sometimes grill food, and watch them. People say hello when you pass them on the street. The day I moved in several neighbors came to introduce themselves and one even offered my father who was helping with the move a glass of ice water.

    I agree with Come Visit Morton. There are frequently crowds of adolescent males hanging around the recreation center at Warder & Otis at night, but they’ve never come off as aggressive or dangerous, just playing sports on the rec field or hanging around on the sidewalk bullshitting as kids their age do. As a 20something female I feel perfectly comfortable walking past them on my way home at night.

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