Good Deal or Not? Mini Row House Short Sale Edition (Reader Request)

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This house is located at 924 9th Street, NE:

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The flier says:

“Short Sale – Professionally negotiated. Only one bank. Nice location. Great investment opportunity. Hurry up, won’t last long. Call owner before showing.”

More info and a few photos found here.

Wow, this is an interesting one. I like the location though it is a bit small. This may be the least expensive GDoN ever posted. $149,900 sound reasonable for this 2 bed/1 bath?

16 Comment

  • buy it. even at that size it’s priced below market value. assuming there are no structual issues, you could do a nice renovation for relatively cheap and have a nice, albiet small, place to live for 200K or less. neighborhood is rough around the edges but there is a lot of long-term potential with the H st. development

  • This is a steal– I bet this place already has a bunch of offers on the table already.

  • Yeah I bet it’ll go for over 150k. It’s a tiny 2-bed, but it would be a sweet and very unique loft if someone put in the time/effort. a rowhouse loft would blow my mind, no idea how much that would be worth though…

  • It won’t get sold for that price. It’s a teaser and a short sale (which means it will take forever for the deal to go through, and the bank can just tell you to screw off if they get a better offer in the meantime).

    Beyond that, looks like some gnarly water damage in the living room pic, though could be no big deal. But I’ve never heard anything good come from trying to get a short sale. Unless you’re an investor and it doesn’t matter what happens it will probably be a nightmare.

  • I guess someone will buy it, but this is pretty much the lowest end possible property in DC. Vinyl siding, tiny space, crap kitchen, no upper floor bathroom according to the listing (which also mentions a pool and an attic, WTF?), window units, and a rough neighborhood that is conveniently located near pretty much nothing and over a mile from the metro. I guess if you just absolutely have to buy something it’s a cheap home, but I can’t imagine who would buy this — a young professional wouldn’t be in it long enough to recoup their investment, it’s too small for kids, and an older person wouldn’t want to walk downstairs to go to the bathroom.

  • Foreclosures definitely pushed down prices in Petworth. But this wasn’t because of teasers, it was because banks were just trying to get rid of houses fast. I’ve noticed a huge disparity in that neighborhood. There’s nothing really under 225 that’s not a total wreck. But there are houses in livable shape selling for mid/upper 2’s, and then fixed up houses going for even in the 4’s sometimes!

    It’s really weird. That is it makes no sense that a shell is just over 2, while a totally livable place is only 50 grand more, and then a house with a decent renovation could be 200 grand higher. You would expect the shells to be at least $100K less than a livable house, and a fixed-up place to be not more than $100K more than livable place.

    It’s really strange – but I think that the market is really fragmented and even though this disparity makes no sense to me, the target audiences for each kind of house are totally different. But for now anyway, buying a place that’s not renovated but livable in Petworth is a crazy good deal because of this. (Foreclosures tend to be this kind of house — and this market segment is undervalued because there’s a lot of supply right now).

  • Oh – and that said – supposing that place sells for $175K. I would MUCH rather buy a 3-bedroom house with a big yard (typical Petworth) — and probably in better shape than that — for 250-275 in Petworth.

    As the other poster said, this is a rough neighborhood and that is definitely the wrong side of H street. Just drive through there around 11 PM on any given night. It’s really not that pleasant. I had to back up to get out of a street I turned down because people had parked their cars two abreast blocking the whole street, there was all sorts of drinking in the streets and blasting music. I have never felt more sketched out. I am sure it will be a good investment… in like 10-15 years.

    Petworth is nowhere near a shady and is much closer to the metro and all the massive Columbia Hieights and Georgia Avenue development. For basically the same price per square foot (considering you’ll have a bigger house in Petworth) i see no value here.

  • Anything at $149k is a great deal. A vacant lot with a tent on it is a steal at $149k. It is on the wrong side of H street, and it’s spite house sized, but $149k is a steal. Note sure what price it drifts from steal to okay to no, but $149k is a steal.

  • @ Jamie 2:12pm. Your numbers are pretty arbitrary. Why should a shell sell for $100k less than “liveable”? And $50k less is not cheap enough? What arbitrary rulebook did that come from? Frankly, the disparity doesn’t seem out of place to me at all (maybe with particular properties, because of slight differences in locations that in DC are rightly or wrongly blown way out of proportion, or differences in the bones of any given house…real estate is tremendously personal and location specific…but as a generalized statement it doesn’t make me scratch my head one bit).

  • Um, I think you all are being a bit extreme re: the neighborhood. It’s no dupont but I’ve been around there late at night and it’s no scarier than Petworth. You’re also about 3 blocks from mozz balls at Taylor.

  • it makes no sense debating the list price of a short sale. It is a completely made up number, that typically has no relation to what the bank would accept for the place, and there isn’t any guarantee that the bank would sell it for a short sale in the first place. lets keep short sales out of GDON.

  • @Anon – because you can’t turn a shell into a livable house for 50k. It’s not arbitrary. It’s basically, what would it cost to go from X to Y and from Y to Z.

  • If you’re calling this neighborhood “sketchy”, you either haven’t been there recently and/or you are extremely short-sighted.

    I lived a few blocks from there in a similar house (though brick with a bathroom upstairs and it was renovated throughout). My roommate and I were paying $900/month plus utilities. It’s a sound investment alone off the potential Gallaudet student rental income you could net. This area is chock full of students who need housing close to campus. Plus, though the houses are small, the neighbors were mostly friendly and close-knit.

    And anyone with a little development savvy can see that this neighborhood is a potential gold mine… think about it:

    – It’s walking distance to all the good stuff on H Street;
    – It’s a reasonable walk from both Union Station and the NY/Florida Ave Metro;
    – It’s easily bus-accessible (X2 and D4);
    – It’s not too far from Eastern Market (walkable; even better by bike);
    – It will benefit from the development on H Street (hello ppl… STREETCARS!!!);
    – It will benefit from all the NOMA development (such as the Harris Teeter that will be within walking distance).

    I actually liked the area so much, I bought a home of my own a little further south, closer to the “Atlas District”, about 9 months ago. It was also a “short sale” listed at $179,000, but I wound up getting it for $50K less. The home is a 2BR/2BA and is livable (I plan to renovate to make it nicer, but it’s in perfectly livable condition). By far has been the best move of my life.

  • I love how people always say “the wrong side of H St.”. Those of us who live on said “wrong side of H” are very proud of where we live and there are many tight knit communities on that side of H. Petworth peeps are proud of their ‘hood, just like those of us on the “wrong side of H” are too! At $149k it does seem like a good deal. Put in a little reno tlc and even with the bathroom downstairs it’s a smart condo-alternative property to live in yourself OR to rent out to Galludet students as mentioned in other comments.

  • It’s a steal at that price.

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