Good Deal or Not? “2 houses for price of 1!” Edition

This home is located at 4507 Arkansas Ave, NW:

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The flier says:

“2 houses for price of 1! Nicely maintained house w/ 1BR in-law suite & a 1,000 sq. ft. Carriage House w/ 2+car pkg! Bright open spaces, beaut orig pine flrs, high ceilings, storage attic, newer windows & roof, 2-tier patio, & endless possibilities w/ 2-story carriage house, which is plumbed for gas, water (1/2 bath) & elec! 1 blk to UPSHUR DOG PARK, REC CTR & POOL!!”

You can find more info here and a Mouse on House tour here.

Does $486,500 sound reasonable for this 4 bed/3.5 bath? Do you think the carriage house has some potential?

19 Comment

  • I’m just not a big fan of bathrooms in the garage.

    • I think that bathroom is meant to serve the unfinished upper level in the “carriage house” (aka garage) – as a suggestion of potential for another “in-law suite” (aka illegal rental option).

  • Looks to be a nice enough house. Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea what a house in that location would normally go for. I’m going to guess that it’s a good deal but slightly overpriced? Patio seems a nice big open space.

  • Oh yeah, everyone still used carriages when this was built in 1925… It’s a garage. Realtors and their lingo, I swan!

    captcha: be farragut. Okay, perhaps I’ll give that a try!

  • Actually, I think this is a great deal.

    @JohnnyReb, It’s not just a garage since they say it has plumbing and a gas line out there…that’s just begging to be a rental space with its own covered parking.

    If I had the money as an investor, this would seem like a great opportunity…but that all that cement on the patio has got to go.

    • I completely agree. Very good deal. I would LOVE to have that carriage house space – so much potential. Some of the concrete patio does need to go, though. Having some grass would be great.

  • Great deal for someone with vision and resources…

  • bad deal…this means one full bathroom to serve the three bedroom “main house”. But, like the first poster, I guess I have a think for lots of bathrooms.

    • well, one full bath and one powder room. it’s not all that uncommon/unusual for this area of town (or the hill for that matter) to only have one full bath and one half bath for a 3br house.

      it’s a lot of space for the money and a lot of potential rental income for the secondary spaces. and the upshur park is really nice (swimming pool!)

  • Nowadays, you can’t add a carriage house onto your property because of limitations DC has on % of a property that can have structure on it. This garage is “grandfathered in” — not subject to the newer restrictions. Major bonus.

    Plumbing is already run to the garage, so extend the stack up and put in a kitchen and bathroom. Two one bedroom apartments is a lot of extra income. Someone might come away with a monthly nut around $1000 to live in a 3 bedroom + den house.

  • I dunno, looks like a prety good deal to me. I dont know the neighborhood that well but unde r500 for a house and carriage house seems pretty good.

  • Bad deal, batteries not included.

  • It’s a great neighborhood, but i would rather be on one of the side streets. arkansas is a major artery into the city, and you’ll get a lot of traffic from that. you’re right across the street from a very active Ethiopian church.

  • Saw it, garage is not inhabitable without $80K+ worth of alterations and still would be illegal.

    All detail / character in the house has been erased. Kitchen sucks.

    Basement apartment is for midgets only.

    Church in front operates 24 hours a day and has that guy who pulls up in his pickup truck and protests with loud speakers.

    Overpriced by $80K at least.

  • One of the “bedrooms” is 7×9. As I’m looking to buy a real 3-4 bedroom house it drives me nuts to see listings like this.

  • The streetscape is unattractive at that location. The house doesn’t show all that well. Bottom line is that if it’s on the market awhile, it is by definition not a good deal.

  • Exactly what nude Turkey said. Saw it and was totally bummed. Back Patio pic is streeeettched – chewed and screwed concrete.
    Garage SIZE is great, garage is not..shares a wall with neighbor’s falling down garage. Not inhabitable as is . 2 cars side by side- not if you plan to open the doors. Probably could work in tandem.

    Materials on upgrades= crap. Craftmaship on upgrades=poor. Main bathroom = unacceptable. Took out all original doors and replaced with cores. Head-bonker basement.

    Potential is there, price needs to come down.

  • Thanks for all the comments. I’ll pass them along to my seller.

    Here’s what I can tell you:

    1) Carriage House: The previous owners, Grady & Lena G. Humphrey, ran H & H Upholstering out of this structure. I have a copy of a Certificate of Registration for their business dated 8-30-1984. We do not represent that a new owner can run a business out of the carriage house. However, the fact that there was an operating business in the structure explains why there is a gas furnace, a 1/2 bath and electricity for a/c & lights. It was never intented to be a residence.

    2) Original Character: Unfortunately, some of the mouldings and all the original doors have been removed. However, the Heartpine Floors are still intact & in great shape. Have you tried to get your hands on Heartpine floors lately? Yeah, pretty much impossible, unless you pay $10/ft (NOT installed, just for the wood)and have them shipped in from out of state. The mouldings and doors can easily be replaced. So the fact that the original floors are still there & in great shape is HUGE.

    3) Basement Ceiling Height: The bulkhead is about 5’10” to 6′ feet above the finished floor, so at 5’9″ I can walk under it without ducking. 😉 It has the radiator pipes running thru it. A common issue when you still have a boiler and radiators. New owner could dig down or move the pipes to an outside wall, if they wanted. Radiator heat is a BONUS for lots of buyers.

    4) Patio: Yes, too much concrete. I’m working to convince the seller to tear out the concrete (on the top tier) and landscape it.

    5) Bedrooms: Yes, one of the bedrooms is on the small side at 7′ x 9.’ But for the record, a bedroom by definition has to have a window, a closet, and it’s smallest dimension cannot be less than 7.’ So this is in fact a bedroom. NOTE: There is a 17′ x 8′ finished porch on the 2nd floor. The perfect place for a 2nd full bathroom.

    Kitchen & Bathrooms: They are not functional, but that’s about it. There is nothing exciting or redeeming about them.

    Price: Well, the market will tell us where it should be priced. And I have a financial obligation to my client, so I can’t comment openly about it.

    All in all I think the structure is solid. One might say it’s a little vanilla. All the walls and floors are straight and clean. The fixtures aren’t exciting. But the space is nice, and it gets great natural light.

    If you like the house at a lesser price, then put it in writing and let’s make a deal!

    Todd Bissey, Realtor
    John C. Formant Real Estate, Inc.


    Kitchen & Bathrooms: They ARE functional, but that’s about it. There is nothing exciting or redeeming about them.

    -Todd Bissey

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