Good Deal or Not? Under Contract in 6 Days Edition


This home is located at 1623 Monroe Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“Charming 1930s townhouse, handsomely renovated and updated. Granite Kit open to DR, large LR, 2 spacious BR, lower level family room/BR with travertine BA, front porch, rear deck, PARKING, oak floors, 4 blocks to Metro, walk to shops, restaurants, Rock Creek Park, etc. Fantastic condo alternative!”

More info and photos found here.

Here’s another small(ish) house that looks nicely renovated. I’m curious what you guys think about the asking price and why it went under contract so fast. The asking price for this 2 bed/2 bath was going for $499,000. Is that a phenomenal deal?

33 Comment

  • It would be a good deal if it had central air. But as it is, it’s an okay deal.

  • Phenomenal deal? probably not. Good deal? Yes.

    They priced it right and so it sold quickly. It’s a small place with not much character but it is in a great location.

  • isnt this like exactly like another house posted last week that was priced the same and everyone said was a horrible deal?

  • Pretty good deal, but one question: where does one put the refrigerator? That kitchen layout is terrible.

  • A house near us had about 50 people look at it between Friday and Monday evening and went under contract 10-12-09. They realtor said the house (751 Hobart PL)priced at $249k had multiple bids and will go for much more than the list price. Seems like people are going for the $8,000k government subsisdy…

  • I don’t think that’s a phenomenal deal, it sounds about right. I think tthat’s one of the least-nice blocks in Mt. Pleasant, and it’s a small house. Being west of 16th Street still fetches a bit of a premium, but I’d rather spend the same money somewhere between 14th and 11th in columbia heights and get a bigger house.

    I have noticed that houses have been listed really low lately. Nothing new there, there’s a lot on the market with all the foreclosures, and if you want to sell fast, nothing generates interest like an eye-poppingly low price. They get bid up.

  • Jamie is right. You aren’t going to get a Mt. Pleasant premium for a house that is in one of the least-nice parts (to put it nicely) of Mt. Pleasant.

  • Oh and apart from the lack of a refrigerator noted previously…

    1) Wood paneling on the dishwasher? Say it ain’t so
    2) What the hell is going on with the countertop? I can’t even tell what it’s made of on the right side, and then there’s this weird black void under the end.

    Is the kitchen actually a new renovation, or some odd frankenstein beast made of spare kitchen parts? It’s really odd. But whatever it is it looks like junk.

  • @Jay ‘O- Yep. As a first-time homeowner competing with about eight zillion other wannabe first-time homeowners in my price range, I’m actually looking forward to this tax credit expiring so that I can finally take my time to think about a place without worrying that it’ll go under contract in 2 days. It’s like people have auction fever or something…

  • Back in the beginning of this year when we were looking there also seemed to be a lot of contractors taking foreclosures away from us by offering WAY over list price the instant the house went on the market. Weeks later we would see the house listed again because for one reason or another the contract fell through. SO, if something goes this fast, don’t lose ALL hope, it might pop back up again in a few weeks.

  • I agree about the CAC, but you can put it in for $10-12k… not a deal breaker. I’m encouraged if it settles.

  • The weird black void at the end of the kitchen counters is, I think, an under cabinet refrigerator. The countertops are marble tile. Grout is not a good thing to have on kitchen counters. I think the upper cabinets look nice, but the base cabinet and appliance arrangement is a mess.

    But beyond that, I think it is an okay deal. Not exceptional. It is a nice sized house, and the basement is finished. I think it is a stretch to call this corner of mtp bad. There are nice places in MtP and the district, but this isn’t bad either.

  • I love the look of this house. There’s something very pleasing about the photos – maybe it’s just the color on the walls, but it also feels like there’s a nice balance between quality and ‘character’, between elegance and modernity. Too many of these houses are lacking that balance – they’re either hypermodern and soulless or they’re cheap and retro. I can see why it sold quickly. It looks really liveable!

  • Saw this and it’s EXACTLY the same house as the one on Newton. It’s small – probably 1100 or less, but this one is a little nicer than the one on Newton (basement is nicer and kitchen is nicer.) Advertised as an alternative to condo living, the price seems about right. Living room is tiny or we’d consider it ourselves.

  • i think no matter what you get the mt. pleasant premium. people just wanna live there, period.

  • Pretty good deal. And last week’s GDON on Otis Place just east of 13th is also already under contract.

  • I’ve said it before and I will say it again, a house that goes under contract in a short period of time – 6 days in this case – is by definition a good deal. It doesn’t matter what the world at large thinks a home is worth. What matters is finding one buyer who will meet the asking price. Given the short period of time for this sale, I would not be surprised if there were multiple offers.
    You ask why it went under contract so fast. Because it was a good deal for someone.

  • @dreas

    Not only did last week’s GDON on Otis go under contract, it went for well over asking ($506k)

  • @Marcus, with the exception of the GDON’s that are put up after a contract’s been taken, we really don’t know that yet do we…

    But even so I think it’s still not that simple. I mean, not every great deal will go under contract quickly and not every house that goes under contract quickly is a great deal. The market for houses doesn’t operate with theoretical perfection. Sometimes the right house and the right buyer coincide sooner rather than later and vice versa. Everyone looks for different things when buying a home.

    Personally I don’t think this house is a great deal. Someone did, and the definition of a good deal is subjective. Based on what I’ve seen of this place and what else I know is on the market, I think there are better ways to spend 500k.

  • What even makes this close to a good deal? No central air, radiator heating, a lousy kitchen…?

    What am I missing that makes this a $500k home, granted I’m FAR from an expert but I would have guessed at least $100k less

  • West of 16th? add at least $50,000, even in a “bad” west-of-16th neighborhood (not that I’d agree this is a bad area of MtP).

  • Not a good deal. Maybe folks have tons of money to spend, but 500K for two bedrooms and no central air is not worth it my book. That backyard is hideous. We got our home updated 3 Bed, 2 bath finished basement, central air and fabulous backyard for way, way less (granted not West of 14th but our neighbors are super nice).

  • I try not to hate on renovations, having to do so much in my own house, but is that really the best they could do with the kitchen? Totally agree with the above poster about friggin’ wood paneling on the dishwasher, ick. I will say, out of pure jealously, the porch looks really nice.

  • K St- why is radiator heating a negative? I think most people would pay a premium for that due to efficiency. I certainly would.

    This love of Central Air boggles the mind, 15 years ago no houses had central air and no one cared, so Central Air like Unico was brought in as a cheap first project. You can buy a whole floor window unit for $500, so… why the obsession with the central air?

  • Neener always brings this up because he is jealous he doesn’t have central air.

  • @Jamie
    You are right that the housing market is not perfect. And it fluctuates over time. But when a home flies off the market – and I consider a signed contract within a week to be flying off the market – it’s a fair bet that the home was priced appropriately for the market as it existed at the time the home was made available. It’s true that not every great deal will go under contract quickly. But every real estate agent will tell you that, all things being equal, there is a point in time where lack of interest in a home is a clear reflection of the home being overpriced. Maybe not in the eyes of the owner, but certainly in the eyes of the market as it exists.
    The definition of a good deal is definitely subjective. That’s why it’s ultimately meaningless to ask a listserv whether a particular property is a good deal.

  • As someone else mentioned, the “black void” is the refrigerator, next to it is the freezer. Not everyone needs 22 cu.ft. of refrigerator space. The cabinets are actually nice, much higher quality than the typical Ikea blah cabinets (I went to the open house).

    I personally would choose a house w/radiators, and central air is not a selling point. It looks like a nice block and not everyone wants a huge house. It would suit me just fine. And apparently it suited someone else just fine as it went under contract three/four days after it went on the market.

  • @ anon @ 6:36

    central air is not a selling point.


  • In the summer I have window units but seldom use them, so I don’t see central air as a big deal. Maybe because I spent alot of time in SE Asia and Africa (w/out aircon) and my body adjusted so the heat doesn’t bother me.

  • Trust me, you’re the exception.

  • Paying for location that’s all! Not worth half a million dollars for 2 bedrooms….no CAC….

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