Good Deal or Not? Traditional Brick Fixer Upper Edition

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This home is located at 3615 10th Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“Just Reduced! Contract fell thru and back on the market. Traditional brick fixer upper RH on a quiet residential street featuring rear yard accessable by alley, rear entrances to main level, basement, attractive hardwood floors. 3 blocks to Metro. Heat, water, electric & appliances are functional. This is an estate sale, not short sale or bank owned. FHA or conventional ok.”

More info and photos found here.

As far as fixer uppers are concerned this one looks to have good bones. Any guesses on the cost to fix it up? Given that does $310,000 sound reasonable for this 3 bed/2 bath?

20 Comment

  • This may be a really ignorant question, but here goes:

    If some one buys a house like this is it possible to get financing to pay for renovations too or do you need to have cash for the work that needs to be done.

  • I like it. I mean yeah it needs a ton of cosmetic work but I would much much rather have this house than the yellow Good Deal or Not revisted that went for the same price. Street is nicer. House will be nicer once fixed up. and it has parking.

  • You could use a 203k loan, which lends you the purchase price plus renovation costs. The total loan amount can’t be greater than the appraised value of the house.

  • K: it depends on how much equity is in the house. If you secure a, 80% loan to buy it with the house, banks these days are going to be wary of extending a HELOC to you on that remaining 20%.

  • Definitely a good deal. sure it needs a lot, but it’s been preserved pretty well. very close to the metro and a pretty nice street. i think this location is a real value.

  • K St – your ignorance was already displayed on R-R-R&/or R, no surprises…

  • @God-loving American – seriously!? They asked an honest question about a HOUSE. Nothing related to the catholic church. I was curious about a loan for renovation as well. Don’t call someone out for being ignorant just because you don’t agree with their views.

  • I think it looks like a great deal, awesome location, and as @RD says, well preserved. And it certainly appears livable. There’s nothing worse than a fixer-upper that’s been previously fixed up.. badly. You have to do all the work of this sort of place, plus undoing all the crappy work that’s been done before.

    Someone I know looked at it and said it had some significant settling issues. I haven’t seen it myself though, but most old row houses I have seen have some settling and funky angles here and there, generally not serious cause for concern.

  • I’d say 275k is a more realistic price. .

  • Wow, looks terrific. Had I only been more patient, I could have waited and pounced on something like this… nice house, nice mantels and wood trim, nice radiators. Nice floors. Nice block. Large lot (1989 sf). Parking. I think you could have it painted for about $4K, then buy some window AC units and move right in. Of course, you could also put in matching granite everywhere and tear out the original details and then it would cost much more.

    My contractor friend says brick rowhouses don’t settle too badly. The settlement problem is with wood frame houses, in particular the older houses on the Hill. (Termites)

  • Mal – I’m not calling them ignorant for disagreeing with me. I’m calling them ignorant for claiming the catholic church was a bigot while being intolerant of the cc’s views, the very definition of a bigot.

    My apologies for taking a shot in an unrelated post, that lacked etiquette.

  • @God-loving American, I don’t hate the cc (thus I’m not a bigot) I even used to think Catholic Charities is great, I was just appalled and utterly dismayed when I picked up the Washington Post yesterday to see their latest proclamation.

    I find it appalling that they could be so utterly intolerant of what people, most of them not even Catholics, do in the privacy of their own lives. That they could use a political difference with the District to deprive so many people of much needed support really shocked and saddened me.

    I don’t think the Catholic church is inherently bad or evil, so the only explanation for this horrible behavior is fear or biggotry.

    Everyone else, thanks for filling in the gaps on my ignorance of real estate. Whenever I do eventually take the plunge and buy my first home, I will have PoP and the rest of you to thank for a large part of it.

  • I went to the open house last weekend and overheard the listing agent talking to some folks who were interested in this house as an investment property. The contract that fell through was to have FHA financing, so the house has had the requisite inspections, etc. I think that is why the agent is emphasizing that the house is sound and livable.

    In person, it’s kind of a mess. There is some kind of problem with the foundation — big dip in the dining room floor. Dead roaches everywhere, some of the lights not working, dirty. If the heirs would spend a little money to have it cleaned and buy some lightbulbs, it would show a lot better. But with some imagination, lots of elbow grease, and a dust mask, I think this could be a really nice home for someone.

    The agent also mentioned that the heirs have already rejected several low-ball offers.

  • There are limitations to 203K loans. You can’t just demolish half a place and rebuild. It is also a fairly intricate process that requires you to get quotes for work as part of the loan process.

    This place is small, and it is not just cosmetic stuff. Sure, if you want to deal with 1940s plumbing and electricity and the problems that come with it, and don’t need air conditioning, you can have this place fixed up and have a 400K house in the hood. If you want to rehab to modern standards this place won’t be cheap.

    If you look at past sales, properties in this condition will go around 200K, depending on exact condition, size of lot, size of property.

  • I would say this house is over priced by about 50k.

  • I put a bid on a house a block away from this one about a year ago. It was a total rehab (plumbing, electrical, some walls and ceilings, baths and kitchen). It was a bit larger than this house, but had no parking. The first day on the market that house had 3 bids at around 290k.

    Considering the neighbor has developed a bit more from a year ago, I think 310k sounds about right for this place assuming no structural issues. I bet it goes a bit below though .. maybe 280k.

  • I think the price is pretty fair. I think the location is fantastic. In 10 minutes you can walk to all the development in Columbia Heights, but still pay Petworth prices. Five years from now you will be between two major shopping/restaurant areas, walking distance to 2 metros.

    I think the main thing with buying this house is to make sure you can deal with the things that need fixing. It’s not a house to buy if 310K is the max you can afford. But if you could afford $400K, this would be a great way to get a house w/ a lot of original details and fix it the way you want. If it’s livable now, then great to do it gradually 🙂

    Just make sure you get an inspection so you know what you’re in for!

  • I think good deal, with a $300k reno, it would be just right. Unless the foundation is really as bad as fitted sheet says.

  • I bet if someone offered them money in the mid $290’s they would take the offer – that ranges seems a bit more realistic if there are foundation issues.

    If they rejected low-ball then I assume those offers were more in the $250 range which if they could have gotten it, would have been a steal.

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