Good Deal or Not? “lots of natural light” edition (reader request)

This house is located at 505 Allison St, NW:

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The flier says:

“Gorgeous property, Open floor plan with lots of natural light; newly renovated; updated kitchen with modern cabinets, top of the line appliances; all new bathrooms; gorgeous master with bath and walk in closet; hardwood floors throughout; spacious basement with separate entrance; large den; breakfast area; large main level sitting room; beautiful deck with barbecue/ car park space; Petworth Metro”

You can find more info here and photos here.

What do you guys think of the renovation? The reader writes that this property had been vacant for 2 years. Do you think $489,000 sounds reasonable for this 4 bed/3.5 bath?

22 Comment

  • Hideous flip as always. Flippers should have to take some sort of aesthetic design class before being allowed to operate in the city. Why do they feel the need to go high gloss on the floors all the time? But I digress. I wouldn’t pay the price but like moths to light. buyers to granite counters… Sold in August so you are going to find plenty of flaws with the construction I’m guessing. Always interesting to see the housing bubble played out in the past sales prices. This house sold for 515k in December 06. That’s more than its selling now post flip. And it sold for just 260 a month ago. So fast was the flip that it seems to have confused the MRIS into posting the pre flip photo. Ha

  • 4 beds on a 1,500 sq ft lot probably means very little (or no) backyard. One of the bedrooms is probably in the basement or else they are tiny bedrooms.

    There isn’t anything particularly noteworthy about this place. Everything looks like it came straight from Home Depot. For the money I give it 2 thumbs down.

  • Hard to say without looking at the property. But the comps make it look high for the area. I would definitely do my due diligence on the renovation – test all the systems in the house, make sure permits were issued and inspections passed on construction, electrical and plumbing.

    • Comp-wise, actually, four houses within a one block radius have sold for between 469k and 535k this summer. I’d say it’s priced close to market.

  • I also just noticed this is a reader request. and possibly a perspective buyer. A little bit of free advice:
    You never want to buy the most expensive house in an up and coming neighborhood. I also think the market in DC has been fairing almost TOO well and you may see it cool more than normal this winter. Might want to hold out for a bit. Last. Just to show you an example of something I’d be more willing to buy in the neighborhood.
    Far far cheaper but completely move in ready. A way larger yard and right down the street from the house you are looking at. Hire painters. Swap the counters and cabinates. And you will be sitting much prettier in two years time then you would be had you bought the flip.

    • How is this the most expensive house in the hood?

      • Well. I guess, Unlike you, I wasn’t being literal… But if you can get a perfectly move-in-ready house 3 doors down on 3 times the lot for 150k less. It’s not where I want to have my money. But that’s just me. Clearly you don’t think this is at the top end of Petworth home prices… so buy away.

        • Anan (Anon?)
          489k minus 355k equals 134k. Add this misrepresentation to your list of clueless assertions. Also add to “Swap the counters and cabinates” (cabinets?) opening up the space dramatically and many thousands $$ of other meaningful improvements that you don’t have to live through.

          • Anon? Anyway you got me on rounding up the price difference. Though given its been through two reductions you wont be paying asking on the house I linked to. So 150 prob wont be far off. Open floor plan sells sure but not for much more than a nice traditional with a half wall out between kitchen and dining room. Lastly. The flip is horrible. Buyers would laugh at this house in woodley park. You sound bitter. Prob bought a tacky flip yourself? Still worth what you paid 3 years ago?

        • Actually Anon(?) it was a renovation for resale and it easily assesses at 2X+ what I paid 10 years ago. I have other properties in the city, I didn’t buy where I live for that purpose. Go back to school, learn to write and think clearly and then start posting anew. You have some good ideas but it comes across as a bitchy, know-it-all mess.

    • If the reader request wants advice – contact a reputable realtor. Don’t listen to the quacks (Anon?) on this posting.

  • I’ve been looking a lot around this price-point (planning to sell), and it appears to be a little less than similar looking renovations in the area. Of course, without the benefit of seeing the house in person I hesitate to say whether or not I think it’s a good deal. Personally, I would want more of a yard and to be closer to the metro.

  • I’m confused by the exterior pictures–did they paint the brick? And why??

  • bfinpetworth

    I walk by this house every day and have watched the reno progress. They did work quickly (2 months max) but I’ll say that they put some effort into nice details, like the stained beadboard porch ceiling with nice ceiling fan. They painted the brick about two weeks ago – you may or may not like it but it does freshen up the exterior “curb appeal” of the house and distinguishes it from the neighboring houses that are appear a bit . . . tired. Allison is a nice street. I would not characterize this as a good deal (i.e. a bargain) but I think its a fair price based on the current market. There are several houses of similar quality right now in the 500+ range. Whether they will fetch that or not who knows, although it looks like the house on Illinois featured a few weeks ago went for $539 just on the other side of Grant Circle.

    • Wasn’t that one a slightly larger version of the wardman style that is prevalent on the south side of Grant.

      Allison units are all pretty narrow and small, and a bit cramped in? Seems a bit high to me. I’d consider offering $385k, but could go for $435K?

  • anon. gardener

    THe banisters on the basement stairs make my eyes cross. if that’s any indication of the quality of this flip…..

  • Does anyone want to talk about the black tile in the bathroom or the black wall in the basement? Yikes.

  • Many recent flip jobs with full renovations have been listed at $500K or above, so I don’t think this price is totally out of line. Posters are right that small back yard is a disadvantage, but there is off street parking. I think the kitchen and bathrooms look nice although it’s hard to tell much about workmanship from the photos.

    For the poster who mentioned the other house at 423 Allison, I agree that other house is a good deal at $355K, but you also have to take into account the cost of renovations which are pretty major. Unless you are handy yourself or fine with living in the house in as-is condition for a while, a renovated one might be a better option as you could easily spend $100k renovating a fixer-upper over the next few years.

  • A house on the 5th and Buchanan sold for 550K not to long ago it seems.

  • This is priced right. Not everyone will pay that much for it, but somebody will. That’s how the market says it is priced right.

  • This house had a for sale sign in front of it for 2 years. Scads of vacant houses have been flipped in the surrounding blocks. Good sign for the neighborhood. Walking distance to a quaint pocket park on Grant Circle. Walking distance to the new E.L. Haynes. Large row houses. Best part is these houses on the block are solid. Brick is in fantastic condition. If they kept a decent roof on it, it will stand for another 50 years with little maintenance.

  • My husband and I bought a fixer upper in Petworth this year. A lot of people don’t acount for the cost of upgrading the Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical, which in a home of 90+ years is typical and can be very expensive. Our home needed all new plumbing and updated electrical, which was 50% of our renovation budget.

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