Good Deal or Not? “Gorgeous Top to Bottom Renovation” Edition (Reader Request)


This house is located at 630 15th Street, NE:

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The flier says:

“Gorgeous Top to Bottom Renovation of Capitol Hill Classic. Ten foot ceilings, gleaming new hardwoods, new kitchen with granite and stainless, new bathrooms, new roof and HVAC. Fresh landscaping and new rear deck. One block from H St. revitalization. This property will not last long.”

You can find more info and photos here.

As always, what do you think of the renovation itself? Does $449,900 sound reasonable for this 3 bed/2.5 bath?

41 Comment

  • That location is pretty rough. It seems places there are going for that much though. I guess its the speculation on the streetcar impact. I personally dont like the neighborhood for that price and the reno is pretty generic. I do like the cabinets. I think its pretty likely that it will sell around this price, but its not for me at all.

  • The renovations look cheap, particularly the windows. Also that virtual tour has the worst interface.

  • That ain’t cap hill….

  • The front door is hideous – my house came with that model for my basement.
    Glad to see a house fixed up there – I agree, that area has a bleak ambiance.

  • I would not want to live in that end of town… Not for that price at least…But glad to see someone took the initiative to renovate.

    • There’s some gorgeous housing stock around that area, so I’m not surprised it’s going for that much. Besides, Bloomingdale isn’t exactly Mayberry.

      • Bloomingdale is a lot sketchier than the H street are. H street has no public housing, while Bloomingdale has that housing project just south of Big Bear.

        • to be fair to the LeDetroit poster- just said they didn’t want to live on this end of town, Not that it was a bad area or anything like that. Maybe they work in upper NW adn it would add to the commute.

        • You’re 100% wrong. Within 1500M of this address there have been 3 homicides, 6 sexual attacks, 51 robberies with no gun, 33 robberies with a gun, 29 ADWs with no gun, 11 ADWs with a gun for a total of 133.

          Within 1500 M of Big Bear, in the past year, there has been 1 homicide (probably the hate crime way down in truxton), 4 sex abuses, 27 robberies with no gun, 23 with a gun, 16 ADWs with no gun, and 15 ADWs with a gun. So except for assaults with a gun (which was only 4 more), there is far less violent crime.

          As for property crime, 359 for the subject property vs 215 at big bear.

          Additionally, you can pick pretty much any location in Shaw, Ledroit, Eckington, Bloomingdale and find far less crime than this area in question.

  • I like Rosedale, it’s a bit rough, but changing fast and the people overthere are pretty neighborly for the most part. I wouldn’t buy this place because

    1- they stripped the house of all it’s charm, this place looks stale.
    2- Not a good investment to buy the nicest house on the block.
    3- it’s overpriced by at least 50K

  • Allowing that I don’t know that much about the area, I think the square footage and the reno are fine, particularly for $449k. Sure, it’s generic, but it’s tastefully generic. The only think I really would rethink is the all-mulch backyard. This will be a good first home for somebody.

  • Strikes me as a good deal for someone who wants a newly renovated spot, but can’t afford to pay over $500k. I don’t know that block and the house would be worth more if it was on 12th or 13th instead of 15th, but Capitol Hill is growing east and H Stret is taking off, so the location will only continue to improve over the next several years either way. There’s been a lot of fix and flip action in the just south of H Street Capitol Hill neighborhood lately, so developers are recognizing the opportunity there.

  • That area just as safe as any street in bloomingdale/ledroit park. I have a friend that lives on that block and loves there neighbors. Street pretty quite and close to pretty much everything DC. I think it needs to come down about 20k, but if you bought it you at least know the house has significant chance of appreciating once the H st. is completed.

  • This looks like one of the best houses for making a buck without putting much into it that I’ve seen. If you wait until the trolley lines are done and the rest of the businesses are in on H you’ll pay $550 for this. So if you can sit on it for a year or two, this might be easy money.

    While the finishes aren’t great, they’d be cheap to replace in a few years when you’re ready to sell. I’d be surprised if this house doesn’t go for $40k over asking.

  • The renovation looks fine to me. It’s a fully-done three level house for under $450. In DC that’s an achievement.

    I have to say I was at that end of H St this weekend and I think it’s got some real potential. The streetcar tracks really impressed me. I hate, hate, hate that they feel obliged to call this area “Capitol Hill”.

    • Capitol Hill historic district technically ends at F St currently, but there are plans to extend the boundaries soon. This house is between F and G and it’s been fixed up because Capitol Hill is growing to the north and east, so why not call it Capitol Hill?

      • according to the DC property tax database, the neighborhood is Old City. I’m not sure what this Capitol Hill historic district moniker is.

        It seems to me that the neighborhood called Capitol Hill should be the neighborhood immediately around the Capitol. Houses near Eastern Market are not in Capitol Hill, they’re in the Eastern Market neighborhood. Then there’s Lincoln Park. etc etc.

        This house is located at least 1 mile from the Capitol. That’s the same distance from the capitol to the Nats stadium, and about the same distance between Chinatown and the Capitol HIll.

        So yeah. I’m not sure what “Old City” is or what neighborhood this house belongs to. But if anything, it should be part of H St.

        • Old City 1 is very much a part of Capitol Hill and much of it is well within the Capitol Hill Historic District. Houses near Eastern Market are in Capitol Hill – Eastern Market is not a real neighborhood. No one who has lived near Eastern Market for any length of time calls their neighborhood “Eastern Market” – it’s all Capitol Hill. Same with Lincoln Park (my neighborhood, which is “Old City 1” in city tax records). Eastern Market and Lincoln Park are also considered neighborhoods in the DC tax database.

          The only point you are correct on is that all of Old City 1 is not considered Capitol Hill.

          • Oops, I meant to say that the only point you are correct on is that NOT all of Old City 1 is considered Capitol Hill.

          • Sorry, Nichole, but that area is not Capitol Hill. Not historically, not geographically and not technically. Obviously you can call it anything you want; most people would make allowances for Realtors, or for anyone describing the location to a suburbanite. But it’s barely in the same ward, by which standard there would be only eight neighborhoods in the whole city.

        • Old City refers to what was the city of Washington. If you look at old maps it will make more sense.

          • @Mark – not saying THIS house is Capitol Hill. It’s clearly not. Just correcting @former Georgetowner about his perceived notions of what is and is not Capitol Hill.

      • Capitol Hill isn’t growing to the north and east. The same housing stock has been in place for a hundred years. Realtors can call Shaw “Dupont East”, and Trinidad “Hill North”, but that doesn’t make it so.

        • Map of Capitol Hill Historic District

          It doesn’t grow since it’s historic regardless of what a RE developer tells you. This area is referred to as the “Atlas District” or “H St Corridor”

          • Ah, good. Thank you for linking so I didn’t have to. I always say that if you can have vinyl windows, it isn’t Capitol Hill. Although, since we started The Hill is Home with an idea of inclusiveness, I am a lot more tolerant of folks in Hill East and even Rosedale claiming to be part of Capitol Hill. It’s cool. The Hill is a big place and we’re all friends. I do a lot of work for CHAMPS (the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce) and we’re happy to work with businesses from the NOMA BID to the Riverfront BID and back again.

            I do think it’s funny that some people in the H Street area really want to be considered part of Capitol Hill and others really do NOT.

  • It’s on 15th, which is the end of acceptability as far as Cap Hill goes. It’s done. It’s under $450K. It’s spitting distance to all the new stuff on H Street, which, by the way, is cooler than Petworth at least as far as drinking options go. It’ll sell fast.

  • It is under priced. Anything restored with w/ 3 bedrooms west 15the for less than 500k is a surprise. The Old City designation is for original Peirre L’Enfant DC plan. Part of the city, before it was expanded north of Florida. This will be gone by next week. It’s with in spitting distance of the Argonaut.

  • Agree with RL and Fear Monger: This will be snapped up quickly, and then re-sell for $200K more in five years.

  • It seems a little boring for a “gorgeous” renovation. The only thinkg that doesn’t look like it came straight from Home Depot are the counters…which were probably ordered through Home Depot.

    • Which gives you an excellent opportunity to get a cheap house and decorate it to your own tastes.

  • I agree with Daddyfat, Rosedale gorgeous is you are willing to resell in 5 years,

  • The Capitol Hill Historic District is different from the original designations placed by Pierre L’Enfant. According to the National Park Service (!), The Capitol Hill Historic District is bounded by Virginia Ave., SE.; S. Capitol, 2nd Street and and F Sts., NE.; and 14th Sts., SE & NE

    So basically this house is one block outside the border. I know one of the neighborhoods around there likes to call itself Hill East.

    The price seems reasonable to me. We looked at houses in that area four years ago that were much higher. Once the construction is done, that area will take off and it will look like a good investment. You’re only a couple of blocks from all the nightlife on H.

  • The light wood floors and white cabinets make the place look like a condo in a senior citizen community in Florida. Does the place come with a lifetime supply of Ben-gay?

  • Cute home, but carpeting in a DC reno? The price is almost right — just needed to have saved the first-time buyers the trouble of upgrading to hardwood someday. Ultimately, however, I think bars are sexier to young home buyers than hardwood. It’ll definitely go fast.

    I think the actual work tearing up H St is worth something too. What about all the DC projects that have been sidelined past couple years? This is an example of something really happening.

  • The house is across the street from a big ole housing project…somebody will enjoy living there I’m sure…

    it won’t be me though. 🙂

  • Just moved over from an apt on 11 and F NE, not far from this place, and I have to say it gets pretty rough as H St, Benning Rd, and Maryland come together. That said, $450K for a full house is a good price for the area. I’d strongly encourage a buyer to spend a night or two walking around the area and see how comfortable they feel. If they feel fine go for if not I wouldn’t do it. The area will get nicer, but it will take time, allot of rough multi-family in the area that has to get worked out.

  • i live around the corner from this house. it is priced to sell. nichole should definitely revisit this one. my guess is it will sell above asking, and quickly. walk a couple blocks west and prices are in the 500K to 600K range. at least three homes on 15th about a block or two south have sold for over 500K in the past 2 years. for someone interested in this neighborhood, you’re not going to find any renovated homes of this style and size for less in this immediate area. it’s not capitol hill, but the capitol hill pricing has pushed east past 14th st and the H street developments are driving them higher . and as far as crime goes, check the crime stats/maps for this area. i think you would be surprised how it compares to some of the northwest neighborhoods.

    • I think you’re confusing me w/ hipchick! But I agree, I’d love to know how much this one sells for. I’d overpay just to be this close to Argonaut, but I have weird priorities…

  • Are the kitchen cabinets white or pine? They look different colors in different pictures. What is going on in the bathroom in picture 14? Looks like it is missing another vanity or they misplaced the toilet.

  • As someone who spent many months last year looking to buy in the H St area, I looked a couple houses on the block. What eventually turned me away was chatting with people who happened to be walking by. More that two couples told me they regretted their decision to buy all due to the Pentacle – the massive low income housing complex at the corner of 15th and Benning. I remember the couples telling me “Listen. We would love to have more homes renovated and see more gentrification but it’s just not a safe neighborhood and we’ll sell as soon as we can.”.

    People often talk about anchor businesses for neighborhoods e.g. DC USA for Columbia Heights. What this area has is the Pentacle – and it’s not going away. Before i get flamed for slamming public housing, let me say I’m fully supportive of low income housing. I am not, however, supportive of violent crime. I grew up where people didn’t have much money so I know low income doesn’t have to equate to crime. Check the crime stats around this area – those are the facts.

    • I’ve lived on Kramer St. NE (between 16 and 17) for 3 years, owning a row house. I walk by the Pentacle frequently to go to H St, Granville Moore’s, Argonaut, Safeway, SOVA, and all that the Atlas District has to offer. I’ve even gone 8 blocks further East to the new Langston Bar & Grille on Benning St. — directly across from the oldest housing project in the nation.

      I’ve NEVER encountered or seen any criminal activity. I’ve never been approached, attacked or threatened.

      The facts are that crime is going down. There is significantly increased police presence and attention to the area.

      Look – if it was Capitol Hill or NorthWest — predominantly white and low crime — the neighborhood wouldn’t be “transitional” and there wouldn’t be affordable homes.

      Tons of renovations or new builds are underway or completed on Kramer, Gales and other streets in Old City / Rosedale.

      Before passing judgment, visit and talk to some people that live there. You’ll learn that just because people don’t look like you and live in public housing doesn’t mean that they’re criminals.

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