Good Deal or Not? “Dynamite brownstone duplex” Edition


This home is located at 1312 P Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“Dynamite brownstone duplex in turn-key condition, fabulously located in the heart of Logan Circle. Living room w fireplace, sep dining room, kitchen w granite, + pwdr room & coat closet on main level. Two master suites on 2nd! Great exterior entertaining space. You’ll never need a car again.”

You can find more info and photos here.

I think I’ve featured this house as HoTD before so it’s pretty sweet to see some inside photos. What do you think of this duplex? Does $595,000 sound reasonable for this 2 bed/2.5 bath?

27 Comment

  • I think it would be worth the price if it was the top two floors with the awesome balcony, rather than the ground floor and basement but the location is worth it.

  • Only way this a good deal, is if you really want to live in Logan Circle.

  • Sheesh, some people can be so clueless: this is NOT a brownstone! Those exist in New York, but we have never used that term south of the Mason and Dixon.

    Most importantly, it’s not even stone! It’s brick…

    • you realize that ALL old brownstones are made of brick, right?

      the brownstone is a facade.
      and when that facade is made of brownstone, then the house is called a brownstone.

      • Frankly, mah dear, you know not of what you speak. “Brownstone” is a vernacular term, used in New York, to connote a rowhouse made with a particular type of brown-colored stone (usually Portland Brownstone, quarried from Connecticut). Here in the District, while we have many old stone-faced rowhouses, we’ve never used the term “brownstone” to describe them. Anyone who uses the term “brownstone” for a brick rowhouse is not too bright.

  • Looks like a nice renovation, good space, and a fun location. Like Sully said, though, that seems more like top-floor pricing. I’d be worried to buy anything that was 50% below grade at that price.

  • Am I the only person who needs more than two bedrooms? Does no one else host overnight guests or need office space in their home?

  • Come on folks, buy now before you are priced out forever! Don’t you realize that DC is totally immune to macroeconomic fundamentals?! “Down” for the rest of the nation means “Up” here! Buy now!

    Mortgage defaults hit record in 2009. (defaults in 2010 are expected to exceed those in 2009)

    Almost 3 million homeowners received at least one foreclosure filing during 2009, setting a new record for the number of people falling behind on their mortgage payments.

    RealtyTrac, the online marketer of foreclosed homes, reported that one in 45 households — or 2,824,674 properties nationwide — were in default last year. That’s 21% more than in 2008, and more than double 2007’s total.

    • What’s the matter Mr. or Ms. nice? Tired of losing out on bidding wars in your own hunt for a house?

      I don’t know whether DC is immune to macroeconomic fundamentals. I do know that the economic center of gravity has shifted to DC, so much so that office space is pricier here than in NYC. I do know that although this are has been hit by the recession, it’s doing much better than most of the country is. I do know that this is one of the best areas to look for a job. The federal government is one of the few employers actually hiring people.
      I really wouldn’t worry about the buyers of this place getting foreclosed on. The days of getting a half-million dollar mortgage based on your own verbal representation that you could afford it are gone. 20% down, a good enough job to make the payments, good credit scores is the new norm. (Actually, it was the old norm before the boom.) So even if, God forbid, the buyer of this home gets into trouble, the bank will have a $120,000 cushion to work with. So with a little luck (good luck for you, bad luck for the buyers), you might be able to steal this baby for about $470k in a couple of years.

    • What part of Up are you referring to? In 2006, you couldn’t get a shell west of the river for under 300k. Prices have come down considerable in most parts of the city. Foreclosures may not be up as much, because unlike the rest of the country, the demographics that bought these places largely tend to still have jobs

    • This is a company town, nice, and the company is foolish and dysfunctional, to be sure. It is run by spineless fools. But it is robust nonetheless, due to its can’t miss business strategy: “When times are good we take a big chunk of your money. When times are bad we take even more.”

      Owning property in the District is now what it has always been – better than money in the bank.

      • Buy now or be priced out forever! Take all the money you have in the bank, and buy property in DC! The municipal government and the services it provides are TOP NOTCH! You won’t be disappointed! Act Now!

      • Exactly. Which is why I’ve been advocating for strong security measures along the DC borders for some time now. Let them, the unwashed masses, eat cake. We are different; nay, we are better. We shall always, always accrue wealth while the other 250 million people in this country endure the decline in well-being that they so richly deserve. *Let them eat cake!* So, the borders with MD and VA are secure, right? I’m just asking…

  • Nice space and seems charming. The location is great. The fact that a portion is above grade is unfortunate. If this were the top floors, this would be a steal. Because it is the bottom floors, I would argue that $595 is a bit high. Probably go for around $560k. Also– does anyone else hate the fact that there are condo fees associated with these type of properties?

  • For once I agree with the naysayers. Cheeseball bathroom and kitchen renovation and, while a condo fee is almost impossible to avoid in a condo, this seems high unless you’re lining someone’s pockets. The rest of the house looks like it’s in too good a shape to justify the monthly rate.

    Most people refer to brick townhouses as brownstone whether they are or not. So while you might be technically correct, no one cares.

  • I’ve always wondered how these 2 condo operations work. What if one owner wants to do something- repairs etc. – the other doesn’t, or they disagree on how to spend money – or anything really? What if the other party sells their unit to awful people? Of course that happens in any condo, but with only 2 units you would be really stuck.

  • Victoria, usually the person with the larger unit in a 2-unit condo runs the show because they hold a majority of the voting shares. I would shy away from a 2-unit condo because banks are reluctant to provide financing for such a property, thus limiting future marketability.

  • ” What’s the matter Mr. or Ms. nice? Tired of losing out on bidding wars in your own hunt for a house?”

    Nice strawman argument. It is erroneous, but entertaining.

  • Pretty good points about the housing market here today.
    So when is the bottom? We have charts for all sides of the arguments these days. I think there is a huge inventory of homes waiting in the foreclosure wings, either because the banks dont want to proceed, mark the actual loan loss on the books, nor do they want to flood the market driving all values down.

    From a RE perspective we have it pretty good in dc, due to scarcity and jobs. In contrast check out FLA or CA.
    Its too bad the schools here are terrible.

    • “Its too bad the schools here are terrible.”

      What does that matter? Everyone knows that quality schools play no role in an area’s long-term real estate value stability.

      All housing units in DC will eventually be occupided by: 1) couples (gay and straight) with no children, or 2)single people (gay or straight) with no children or 3) group houses comprised of the above, with no children.

      Median houshold income will be north of $300,000, media non-condo home prices will be north of $1,000,000, and there will be no need for schools! There will only be high-end cupcake shops, trendy restaurants, and stylin’ coffee shops.

      It will be Utopia! Hang on, just a few more years to go until we realize our dream!

  • I’ve had a few dinner’s in that apartment and I agree with the former tenants decision to move instead of by it at that price. If the outdoor space were more like a traditional back yard I might be swayed, more so with parking. Without those two things I think its high.

    As for the rest of the thread, I am having a tough time telling one side’s sarcasm from the others argument. But as a newly minted home debtor/investor I’ll likely sleep better that way.

  • I love reading threads on Pop. It’s like having a discussion with my schizophrenic aunt. The world is ending!!!!! I wouldn’t pay $150k for that three-bedroom condo in Logan!!!!! That house is fugly!!!! I bet the doors are from Home Depot!!!! (Gasp.) You responded to my strawman argument with a strawman comment!!! You should be burned at the stake!!!!

    I especially love when such comments are made about properties that sell in four days. That tickles my funny bone. I mean, who are these morons who keep buying? Haven’t they heard the world’s ending? Let’s start staging interventions. People just need to be told what they should want, and then the market as we envision it should be will fall right into place, and I can buy my two-story, three-bedroom condo in Logan for 290k.

    Anyway. Carry on. It’s amusing.

  • I used to work for a contrator. I painted the window trim, front and back of the house, as well as the tin thing around 1999/2000. There are also units that carry a RI ave address on the front. I think both addresses are in on the condo association. It seemed like they took care of the place.

  • Tiny kitchen. Difficult reno to increase kitchen size. I could never…

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