Good Deal or Not? “turnkey gem” edition

This home is located at 409 1st St, SE:

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The flier says:

“Location is Capitol with this turnkey gem! All that DC buzz surrounded by the quaint Hill village = PERFECTION. Surprisingly LG 2 BR/2.5BA. Sep DR, spacious LR & deep private back patio/yard make entertaining a snap. 2 FP to light up your autumn. GO GREEN!Steps to Cap South Metro, House buildings, Capitol, Eastern Mkt, Barracks Row, everything that matters!”

You can find more info here and a virtual tour here.

Maybe because we’re close to Thanksgiving – I thought it said Turkey edition… Anyway, regular readers know, I’ve always been intrigued by these “mini-rowhouses”. What do you guys think of this one?

Does $689,900 sound right for this 2 bed/2.5 bath?

24 Comment

  • i think its about 100k more than it should be, but that’s probably just the cost of going green.

    • No, it’s the cost of living 2 blocks from the Capitol. No way anything in this part of the Hill is going for under $600K. This price seems about right, even with that really super crappy kitchen.

      • SouthwestDC

        Agreed– homes near Capitol South tend to be very small and very expensive. A few weeks ago I saw a neighboring property, 405 1st St. SE, which was very similar and is being offered at $739,000. The layout on the main level was so cramped and awkward that we didn’t even bother checking out the upstairs. Horrible kitchen in that one as well! You can do much better on the Hill, just not in this immediate area.

  • I love the pass-through in the kitchen. Spacious back yard. The side door also frees up room in the front of the living room nicely – is that why this is a ‘turnkey’?
    I’m not sure whether the price is appropriate or not, but I’m liking the house!

  • For that kind of money I’d want a kitchen at least as nice as the ones in my rental building…that one is really sorry. Not a good deal with the amount of renovation to be done in kitchen/baths, IMO.

    Surprisingly big yard, though.

  • The bathrooms you can deal with, but that is not a 2/3 of a million dollar kitchen. I guess it is cometitively priced, but man…

  • Probably an OK price.
    That kitchen could be improved quite a lot by closing that pass through. Although a nice feature (if you like that sort of thing)from a practical point a view the kitchen entrance is almost as close to the kitchen table as the pass through and one could always put a small buffet against that wall in the DR. The added wall space gained by closing the pass through will give you much needed space for additional wall cupboards. This fix would not cost much at all and could easily be done by anyone with a little bit of nohow.

  • Also, are they suggesting that using the fireplace to keep warm is “green”? Or is that just a non-sequitur thrown in there?

  • I think all the kitchen/bathroom etc. comments make sense when you look at the last sale date: 1998.

    And for a mere $220,000.

    This isn’t a flip or anything. It’s probably a rental or someone’s home.

    This is what houses look like. From my experience, practically everything liveable for sale in DC has been renovated within the last 5-10 years, so we just aren’t used to seeing normal houses.

    My house in Columbia Heights looked about the same. Structure was good and everything functioned, just slightly dated. Nobody went gaga for it so I got a good deal.

    That said I agree the kitchen sucks, and no I wouldn’t pay whatever it is they are asking for this house.

  • Clearly the kitchen and baths are gut jobs, but for the location, size, and lot size, I think this house is priced appropriately. It will probably sit a little longer than usual because it’s a 2 bedroom and not a 3 bedroom (most people looking at houses on the Hill want 3 bedrooms), but it will appeal to someone.

  • I’d take it in a heartbeat if I could afford it. I love that neighborhood.

    Will they take a $30K down payment and $1000 a month for life?

  • Why is the wiring for the cieling fans running outside the drywall? Couldn’t they have put it inside?

    • I think probably because it isn’t drywall. I don’t understand but people think that channeling into plaster is so hard they would rather pay for the surface piping. The surface pipes are $$ and cost about what you would pay a plaster person to do this properly. My guess is that the electrician is there and they want to get it done, not have to hire somebody else. But I’m with you – I hate it.

      Re: the price overall – probably fair market value but what a pain to pay that much and still have to do so many renovations!

  • I would keep looking…

    Based on the houses that have just sold in that area, I think you can do better.

    this one is $30K more but has another bedroom and much nicer:

    this one also just sold, for the same price:

    condo, but nice and 1461 SF

    another condo, but smaller and $100K less:

    • That E St house is pretty good evidence this house is over-priced. Much nicer, larger, and only about 5 blocks away.

      The only kind of person I could see the GDoN house working for is someone who absolutely must be able to roll out of bed and walk to the Capitol in under 10 minutes. And since you’re at your job all the time, it’s not a problem that you can barely fit into your kitchen.

  • it hurts me that some people have to live with poor paint color choices.

    • SouthwestDC

      I like the houses with poor paint choices — they tend to sit on the market a lot longer, which often means the seller will have to accept a lower offer. Most poetential buyers see the dark walls and lose interest, but they’re such an easy thing to change.

  • A lobbyist will buy this in short order. Perfect patio and dining room combo for in-home fundraisers.

  • I think this will sit for a bit. This is a buyers market and you can not assume that a kitchen/baths last updated probably 20 years ago will be snatched up at close to 700K. I would take my money elsewhere as there are so many other options in DC now at that price point.

    It’s not a bad place, but it reminds me of those homes on HGTV that need about 10-15K dollars worth of work and upgrades that would move it off the market in 30 days rather than 100+

  • Are front entrances like that a safety issue? It’s so set back from the street and hidden, and on such a narrow passageway, even with motion sensor lights I’d be nervous.

  • I love how people get all upset that the kitchen doesn’t have a million dollar renovation. If I was in the market for a house (someday, hopefully) I would love to see a crappy kitchen, because a brand new kitchen means they spent $15,000 on the renovation and tacked on $50,000 to the asking price.

    But hey, by all means, keep demanding Viking appliances and granite countertops, and keep walking out on places without “chef’s kitchens” because when I finally can afford a down payment, I will grab a sweet house, spend a few grand on a new stove and fridge and laugh all the way to the bank.

    • SouthwestDC

      I think the criticisms have more to do with the size and layout of the kitchen. Those features are difficult and expensive to change, if they’re even possible at all.

      Otherwise, I agree with you. It’s only a matter of time before granite and stainless steel become dated, anyway.

    • I was saying that the house is worth 50k less than it is priced right now with that kitchen. I think if they put in 15k to the kitchen, then they can ask for what they want. I don’t think that it is crazy to expect a modern kitchen in a 700k….most of the others listed in that price point with similar square footage offer that.

      My thought: If they don’t want to do that, then they should price it closer to 650k to move it. If they don’t mind holding out…then do so.

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