Good Deal or Not? “new copper water line out to meter” (Reader Request)

This home is located at 748 Princeton Place, NW:

View Larger Map

The flier says:

“Total Renovation, 2 blocks from metro. New roof, new plumbing, electrical, drywall. .. attached garage, huge deck, gourmet kitchen, gas fireplace, tray ceilings, master bedroom w20 ft ceiling, 6″ bamboo flooring, new copper water line out to meter, 3 large bedrooms upstairs, one block from new CVS and restaurants. .. a must see.”

You can find more info here and photos here.

The reader writes, “I’m curious to hear what your readers think about this one. Yet another case of “flip yellow”!”

What do you guys think of the reno itself? Does $598,000 sound reasonable for this 3 bed/3.5 bath?

42 Comment

  • Oh my! Cherry/ granite/ stainless kitchen!?! How bold! How inspired!


    • Why does everyone hate on granite and stainless steel so much? Of all the things that people do wrong in flip renovations, this is not one of them.

      If you are going to sell a high-end kitchen there is little else that wouldn’t potentially turn off a lot of buyers. There is a reason granite and stainless are popular: because they are nice enough and neutral.

      Not everyone likes stainless steel shelves or desinger colored concrete countertops or whatever else the hot, happening thing of the hour is. And nothing else will still be neutral enough that in five years it won’t look like a bad decision from a bygone era.

      • Neutral granite will probably look okay in 5 years, but that crazy veined stuff already looks ridiculously dated, IMO.

        We went with concrete because we couldn’t look at another granite countertop. Seriously, even the cheapest of cheap flip has them now.

      • quality natural materials are never out of style.

  • anon. gardener

    I don’t understand why they put the cheesy hand rail on the wall when the stairs already have a respectable banister. Otherwise it’s a nice use of the space. I’m not sure if the proximity to metro justifies the premium price. There is very little back yard space, and that garage door looks useless.

  • Not sure why bamboo floors ($3psf) would be more desirable over original heart pine floors ($19psf).

    • P.S. Where in the world are you paying $19/sf for heart pine? I’ve seen it at $4/sf to $5/sf at lumber liquidators.

      • that’s not heart pine then.

      • 1) You pretty much answered your question – $16/sf cheaper means more desirable for a flipper.

        2) I had an apartment with heart pine floors and was told years ago that there are no new supplies, you have to recover it from an existing home – demolition, etc. So your $19/sf number might be a tad unrealistic.

  • Ditto to RE on the bamboo floors. Environmentally they are nice, but otherwise, no biggie. Regardless of how nice the renovation is, it is overpriced for that area by $50K – $100K.

  • Don’t know about the price, but something is bugging me about that renovation – can’t really put my finger on it, but space seems odd, fireplace is in a strange place, lack of wall on main floor, etc.

  • A similar renovation by the same company, one block further east, which was only a bit larger, sold for $650k a month or two ago, so this is a good deal. This one is closer to metro, restaurants, etc.

  • A similar renovation by the same company, one block further east, which was only a bit larger, sold for $650k a month or two ago, so this is a good deal. This one is closer to metro, restaurants, etc. People who think it’s $50-100k overpriced really have no idea about real estate in DC.

    • Ha ha ha. What a wonderful proclamation about who knows what. How about you post the link to the “similar” renovation so we can compare. That will help us to corroborate your unassailable real estate expertise.

  • WDC, what do you consider a bold/inspired kitchen to consist of?

    PS I could care less about this house, I’m just curious what other people look for in a kitchen.

    • The one element I saw recently that really stands out in my memory was a composite countertop that had teeny seashells incorporated. I also liked one that had mica-type sparkles.

      And I actually don’t have an objection to the kitchen here, in and of itself. It’s just SUCH an obvious marker of a flip job. With zero thought given to the kitchen, how can I be sure they were careful about the stuff behind the walls? Can’t.

    • bfinpetworth

      The kitchen is blah. So much more could be done for probably the same $$.

      Another weakness, imo, is the master bath without a walk-in shower. Who needs three tubs (I’m assuming since there are no pictures of the other bathrooms that they are basic tub/sink/toilet designs)? Again, this shows little thought beyond “how much space do I need to plop a tub in here against this wall and throw up some nondescript tile?” Ooh and a curved shower rod!

      WDC’s point is spot on – this house screams quick flip and the builder/designer did little to inspire confidence that it is quality work.

    • You could care less? How much less?

    • I actually prefer white appliances and wood countertops. I hate that I might be stuck with kitchen that looks just like everyone else’s and will be out of style in 3 years, simply because some seller wanted an easy way to drive up the valve of a property.

      • Value of a property, that is. 🙂 Guess I shouldn’t be commenting on blogs while doing work.

      • Love wood countertops! I made a curved solid cherry countertop for an island/breakfast bar in my old house and it never ceased getting oohs from visitors.

        My current place has cabs painted in a vanilla color with white marble counters. The marble is high maintenance but I love the character compared to these modern granite jobs.

  • Sold in 10 days, closed July 12. 19k seller subsidy, but still the quickness of sale, plus other similar comps, indicates this is priced correctly

    Redfin is great. Check it out!

    • Interesting. The separately metered basement 1 BR apartment could contribute $1K (conservative) on your mortgage, which is about $100K in property value (a bit more than that actually, if you are doing an FHA loan at 3.5% down).

  • The one a block east did sell for 650, but it did have a rental basement.
    We are two doors down and have done a 7 year owner blood sweat and tears renovation about to go on the market in 2 weeks.
    We kept all of the original doors (Each cost $120 each to dip and months off your life to stain and poly vs. the $19 home depot composite doors on that house), have a great backyard with off street parking and garden space, kept the original floors and have a much larger kitchen (with Kraftmaid cabinets). We compare 1:1 with the checklist on the flipjob, have 4 bedrooms and 2600 sf of livable space, though we only have 2 full baths.

    We will be listing for less with Kevin Wood on the board, so keep your eye out!

  • If I had this kind of money (which I don’t), I would snap up this house in Shepherd Park – I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind all day:

    • I love that area. The houses around there are just awesome.

    • hmm, that’s a sweet house!

      Regarding the GDON, it’s OK and due to the location probably a reasonable price, but there are several other recent renovations on the market now and I dont’ think this is the best one. I like Princeton Place a lot though – very pretty block and super close to the metro.

    • The garden alone is beyond amazing.

  • I’ll just say that if the seller is Leon Leung, let the buyer beware – his renovations are functional but slick – and judging from the 4 contractors we’ve had in since purchasing from him last summer, the work is shoddy at best.

  • The contractor is TomKat builders. They did a nice job with the house, but the doors, cabinets, floors etc. are totally flip.

    Our floors need some work since we redid them in 2003, but you can run a sander on the pine without it going through to the subfloor; Not so on the bamboo. Composite doors and rickety cabinets are a big turnoff for me as-well, but some people like the new look of the complete renovations.

    Getting rid of the attic for the vaulted ceiling is also one of those personal choices, but you have to heat it and then get a storage unit to put your stuff in.

  • WTF. How can you tag this home as being in Petworth?!?!? Park View, definitely. Columbia Height, within real estate circles only, but ok. … but Petworth??? Get real.

    • Park View border nazis are so ridiculous.

      all PoP did was add a “Petworth real estate” tag in addition to the “Park View real estate” tag and this guy acts like he stepped on his puppy. this place is a stone’s throw from the petworth border and would obviously be of interest to people searching for petworth real estate.

      Park View residents: noone is trying to slight your neighborhood. the metro station bares the Petworth name, so once in while your neighborhood gets incorrectly referred to as petworth. it doesn’t matter. get over yourselves.

      • I agree with RD. I don’t understand why Park View people get hung up on this stuff. I live in Petworth, and you can call my neighborhood whatever you please. I’m a big boy, and my feelings won’t get hurt.

      • park view border nazis unite!

        • Also live in Parkview, but am perfectly happy to have it called whatever. I wouldn’t pay $598 to live here, but I sure hope someone does!

  • We’ve really enjoyed living on this block and it’s short walk to the metro and all the stuff in Columbia Heights. We’ve gotten to know most of our neighbors and feel very welcomed. That said I don’t really care for this flip. Our flipper actually kept the walls and transoms, had the original doors to the rooms stripped, and left a few things for us to alter to our tastes. After walking thru this GDON, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like bamboo floors. Do they actually last very long? These seemed extra soft.


  • i think it’s reasonably priced. i’m not impressed by the rear yard (a real yard might be nice considering the metro proximity) but the interior and basement looks nice. if indeed the block is enjoyable to live on as most commenters suggest, park view is a nice hood, so i’d say its a good deal – but it doesn’t get me that that excited, so i’m not going to type this in all caps.

Comments are closed.