Good Deal or Not? “HIGHLY EFFICIENT” Edition (Reader Request)


This house is located at 3829 10th Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“HIGHLY EFFICIENT in every way. The renovation is superb, the location is ideal 2blks to Metro & resturants. 3 lovely BRs w/ HUGE closets. 3.5 BAs w/ granite, ceramic & nickel. An open floor plan adorned w/ crown moldings, tray ceilings, chair railings, hrdwd flrs, surround sound, intercom, granite, stainless appl, 42’bambo cabinets, breakfast nook, full entertaining bsmt, 1 car garage, 2 car pkg pa”

You can find more info and lots of photos here.

What do you think of the reno itself? Does $639,000 sound reasonable for this 3 bed/3.5 bath?

42 Comment

  • 2 blocks from Metro??

  • saf

    Wow, they really changed a lot in there, VERY quickly.

  • I like the place, but it’s nothing special and its priced as if the housing market hasnt had its share of issues recently. Would this place have been going for over 800k in 2005? I suppose its likely to sell at this price or near it, but what makes it worth that much?

    Buyers need to be more discriminating – or else the mistakes of the past will just keep recurring.

    With a downpayment of 20% (which is whopping, near $130,000) your mortgage payment would be $2700, plus hazard insurance of 100/month, and property taxes (which, incidentally, the tax assessment is a cool $170,000 less than list) are about $325/month.

    So with $130,000 plus closing costs (probably in excess of $15,000) investment and $3125/month plus utilities, repairs, upkeep, this place can be yours.

    Since you can make, at a bare minimum, 150/month with 145k in a high yield savings account ($360 in a 5yr CD), we can add that onto the cost… so we really all told, we can really say this place is pushing $4,000/month…

    That would be half the income of someone who takes home $96,000 a year AFTER taxes.

    Additionally, this property was purchased for $255,000 on the last day of 2009. So it makes one question the quality of this reno… it was done in 2 short months, but enough was done to justify nearly $400,000 in increased value?

    Red flags go up all over this.

    So, in short, I’m sure there’s a buyer, but I don’t see the value.

    • These flippers are either really fast and good at their craft or good at hiding problems.

      Assuming the reno is quality work I’d say this is a little far north for the price.

      I say $550 is more realistic for an asking price

      • $550? You’re both nuts. My house, two blocks south and on a busier street, just appraised for $500. We have much crappier kitchen and bathrooms – all of it is the Home Depot special that all the commenters on here love to hate. We don’t have crown molding, chair rails, or surround sound, and our lot is smaller.

        Six months ago, this house had wildlife living in it. We used to see squirrels peeking out the upstairs windows. I can only imagine what the inside looked like.

        • Dreas, I dont think you should sell yourself too short. It takes a LOT for an appraiser to bump up the price $50,000, let alone 100-150,000, between 2 similar house models, near by each other, and in comparable repair. Even if the finishes are superior in the second house, it takes a lot of high end finishes to jack the appraised value up.

        • home appraisal and market value are related, but not the same thing. Usually the appraisal is significantly higher than the market value.

          That said, My estimate of $550 could be way low, I’m no expert.

  • LOL…Shocking, the payment on this with taxes and insurance would be about 3000.00 per month, just over what a 2 bed apratment rents for.

    • Well, its simple math, 2700+100+325… thats 3125+missed opportunity on saving $145,000+maintenance and upkeep. Besides, if someone buys this at $649,000 the tax assessment isnt going to stay in the mid 400s for long, so that cost is headed north. So, as I was saying $4,000/month is what the buyer should expect to be spending on the place.

      Also, $3,000 is “just over” what 2bedrooms go for? Where? Penn Quarter? The most expensive 2br in petworth on Craigslist right now is $2400/month.

      • Let’s be honest, your simple math doesn’t include the tax impact and therefore is worthless. Not to mention, at the end of 30 yrs, your $2400 a month in rent will have probably turned into $3400-$4400, while the mortgage payment is presumably fixed. Yes, taxes will go up and insurance over 30 yrs too, but so would your income, assuming inflation of course.

        • Ok, so after “tax savings” you’re paying $3500 bucks a month (28% of the average interest over the first couple years)…

          I’m not arguing against buying, I’m arguing against buying that place at that price.

    • Concur with Shocking – I think the 2BRs above the Petworth Metro (which is a better location than 2 blocks north of it) rent for around $2400 right now with the 3 months free. I rent a 2.5 BR house in this area for much less than $3,000.

  • It looks nice. It seems a bit pricey especially at the speed of this renovation. If you check out the google street view of this location you will be amazed at the transformation. Maybe the costs are reflected in the asking price because that thing looked like it was going to implode.

  • I can bet you this will go pretty quickly, maybe a tad under the asking. There is a huge lack of quality renovated rowhouses in petworth. Those done right sell and they sell at a decent price.

  • Breakfast nook?

  • This will be interesting to see…esp. if the tax credit expires before it moves. I can’t see how the reno improves it that much, unless there were significant structural defects that depressed the 2009 selling price. Sure, maybe mice & squirrels were in there, but cosmetic stuff just isn’t that difficult to fix.

    Contrast this with 1801 Shepherd that just sold for $200k more – a detached unit, considerably larger – and it leaves me shaking my head. I like the $550 number – crappy cabinets, crown molding, etc. are hardly $50k worth of a difference. The less busy street and larger corner lot, yes.

    • the reno is *not* just cabinets and crown molding. if you know the layout of these houses, you’d know that they completely changed the upstairs and downstairs floor plans. walls were removed between the front entryway and living room, the kitchen was opened, the upstairs bedrooms were reorganized to have closets. not an insignificant job (though a quickly done one, i’ll agree).

      • I looked carefully at the photos – they didn’t move the ANY of the structural points – they took out non-supporting sections. Sure, it’s a big cosmetic change, but the stairs, and flooring support pillars are all right exactly where they were when the walls were there. That’s why all those “pillars” are still right where the doorways were, roughly. Yes, it does open things up considerably, but structurally, this is not a major rework.

        I still stand by my assertion: this is not $300K worth of renovations. That’s a very juicy flip.

        I have to say: it does look like they did a very nice job. Obviously a lot of labor is available on demand right now to get it done that quickly. Says something about how busy the trades are right now.

  • Even assuming the roof is new, my max would be 580K or so, but somebody will probably buy it in the low 600Ks.

  • It will sell for $585k

  • Most of the pics are so dim I thought that “Highly Effieient” meant no overhead lighting.

    Dunno if this is worth $639K.

  • I’ll never have a place that I don’t remodel myself. I don’t like any of the finishes there outside of molding. The bathroom tile and cheapy toilet are hateful.

    Also, that’s an end unit sure, but that part of Randolph is not the greatest. The apartments behind have lots of problems. And traffic with the Safeway and Wendy’s and it generally being a cut through street makes the side lot not all that desirable.

  • So it’s more expensive after tax? How can you go from $3,125 to $3,500? And comparing a 2 bd apt at $2400 a month to a 3bd/3.5 bth rowhouse basically justifies the asking price, assuming 20% down.

    Here’s your comp…

    The OP house is nicer and larger, maybe a bit further north, but closer to the metro.

  • saf

    Have any of you all seen it in person? I live down the block. Aside from the astounding speed of the renovation I wonder how much thought went into it. For example – the parking pad out back is unusable, as it is blocked by wires that run from the telephone pole to the ground.

  • this neighborhood is highly over valued when you look at the asking price for homes vs the crime rate / city services. how many places in the US have $600+K houses with drug wars unfolding all around and a totally worthless education system? funny money for a funny town.

  • With legal, rentable basement, sure.

  • You take a swipe at the neighborhood then appear to be comparing DC to the rest of the nation. What point are you trying to make exactly? The 20011 zip code has some of the lowest crime rates west of the park. lower than columbia heights, adams morgan, mount pleasant, shaw/u street, dupont, etc.

    So are you saying this neighborhood is over valued, or that DC in general is a bad buy? Make a coherent point, Ronny. DC has the best job market in the country, so that’s why housing stock is in demand.

  • I live on this block and saw the renovation happen every day. It was incredibly fast — way too fast to be good quality. And there are clear signs of mediocre work, including that there’s a hole in the driveway, and that the metal sheet that runs across the apex of the roof blew off a few weeks ago. They also haven’t built the parking space advertised in the listing (hence the lack of a picture), and that kitchen has the worst layout I’ve ever seen in one of these Wardman houses.

    Anyway, I don’t think any house on the block has ever sold for more than $610,000, even at the height of the market. I’d be shocked if they got anywhere near their asking price.

  • I will be eager to see what the market bears for this property. No matter what, this is one of several recently revitalized homes in the neighborhood, and it was a home too long vacant and run down. While we will see what the market has to say about the quality of the work, the renovation from the outside is a vast improvement over what was there before. While there are some petty crime issues, serious crimes are rare, and MPD and its vice team are working hard to resolve lingering issues. The house is close to metro, the new Yes Organic, a soon to be rebuilt Raymond Recreation Center, at the end of a wonderful block of neighbors, and near the center of all the revitalization along Georgia Avenue. With some additional efforts, it will soon be close to a nice, new supermarket. If the price is right, the owners will be lucky to join the neighborhood, and we will be happy to welcome them. ANC SMD 4C06

    • saf

      C’mon David, be honest about the supermarket. No matter what we do, at this point, it appears that it will still be a Safeway.

  • All of this makes me very happy!!!! my beau and I just bought around the corner on quincy for 271k. Maybe we should dump our day jobs and become flippers…

  • RD you are trippin but that’s besides the point, are you saying it is worth it’s asking price? I hope not.

    • The MLS status changed to sale pending, so someone thinks it is worth asking or close thereto! I figured it would go for just under $600k, so this great news for property values in the neighborhood. at $220/sq ft (including basement), this is still a low price for DC, and i think people are beginning to see the value in this neighborhood.

  • In a couple years this area could be one of the hottest places to live in DC. If that’s the case, this is a terrific investment.

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