Good Deal or Not? “Fantastic condo alternative” edition

This home is located at 759 Harvard St NW:

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The flier says:

“Charming 3BR, 1 BA, 3 Level rowhouse completely renovated with hardwood floors throughout, CAC, all new kitchen and bath. Fantastic condo alternative at a great price! Walking score of 91, 4 blocks to Columbia Heights Metro. Very close to Washington Hospital Center.”

You can find more info here and some photos here.

Unfortunately there are too many photos but the price is looking right to me. What do you guys think: Does $349,900 sound reasonable for this 3 bed/1 bath?

44 Comment

  • good deal

  • No parking spot. With a giant condo building at the end of the block this could be an issue.

  • Really good deal. Prob will go for more than ask price. Can u dig out basement and make it rentable?

  • one of the rougher blocks. I’ve noticed an inordinate amount of broken glass and empty baggies on weekend mornings compared to nearby streets.

    that said I would totally live there.

  • I am under contract on a 2 bd, 2 ba nearby. This is a very good deal.

  • This particular stretch of Harvard is such a sketchy block. I live north of here and I’ve been through here so many times, there’s always action, and not the good kind. Not to say there are not nice neighbors, folks are out washing their cars and helping each other out, but it seems like a neighborhood that gentrifiers try out and then get discouraged by. Also very busy street, it’s a good route for people headed out of town towards East Capitol or Route 50 so there’s a ton of traffic.

    • Actually the ratio of gentrifiers to thug types has gone really up the last 8 years. I moved here 8 yrs ago when it was 40% section 8. Now it is about 2-4% and there are young couples having babies and making plans to stay even into the school years. It isn’t Georgetown, but over the last 2 years, the street has improved more than I ever thought it could. Once the new condo and last 2 nasty houses get cleaned up, I expect to see another 5-10% price increase!

      • JackDC – I find it offensive that you seemingly laud the decline of Section 8 housing in your neighborhood while simultaneously hoping for an increase in property values. Removing poor people from the neighbor doesn’t seem like a good thing. It actually seems really terrible.

        • why is it terrible?

          • It’s terrible for a number of reasons. First, income diversity is an asset, not a liability. But on a deeper level, when new people move into a neighborhood and the increased demand drives prices higher, lower income people out are forced to move out. (And being forced to move out isn’t a good thing.) When this happens, especially when it’s white young families buying the properties and it’s the older black community members who are moving out, it is a painful reminder of the legacy of racism and poverty.

            Here’s a good report from Al Jazeera on gentrification in Washington DC. The video is 20 minutes long. Note Petworth on map of racial demographic changes.


          • I think the question is, how is it terrible. People move. They’re not displaced into the wilderness. When middle class folks are displaced in the same way, people like you don’t complain. Don’t they deserve equal protection from the “evil” of displacement? Or is displacement merely a fundamental fact of urban life, wherein people of all demographics are shuffled throughout the city every couple dozen years?

            If you want to champion income diversity — which I also think is a good thing — you have to sound like you know what you’re talking about, which comes from having a deeper understanding than you currently have. At the very least, you can’t race bait like a paranoid fool. Someone’s talking about having someone smile at them while washing their car and you jump on their back like they just slugged you. Lighten up.

    • I really hate it when people refer to an area in a neighborhood as sketchy or full of bad activity. Reminds me of the great divide that surrounds our communities and how obtuse white people can be at relating to people who don’t look like them – unless they are nice people who wash cars. The effects of racism are not pretty.

      • Way to bring race into the argument…

        Take a look at the crime maps before you get up on your soapbox.

        • Mizer, you don’t talking about race? How come? Reflecting on my comment, a more artful response would have been.

          …it reminds me of the great divide that surrounds our communities and how difficult it can be for new residents – residents who are predominantly white and from wealthier backgrounds – to relate to others living in the neighborhood who don’t look like them, unless of course they are nice people who wash cars. The effects of racism are not pretty.

          I want to apologize to any white person who has not benefited from racism.

      • One or two people referred to the drug trade (baggies, [bad] action). If you lived in the city, you’d know dealers hang out at certain intersections. I can’t speak for this block, but I know in my neighborhood there are blocks with a constant dealer presence, weather depending. I am sorry that car washing is such a contentious issue for you. 🙁

      • you’ve never heard non white people call areas dangerous?
        take off your blinders james. get to know some people beyond your comfort zone. you’ll find that all peoples have all ranges of opinions on things.

      • A few years ago I was renting in SW near the (then under construction) baseball stadium. Any white person who didn’t know the area told me it looked sketchy as hell. I insisted they were wrong, but you know what? They turned out to be absolutely right. A year later I gathered up what was left of my possessions (whatever hadn’t been stolen or destroyed when I was burglarized)and moved out of there as quickly as I could.

        • Anonymous, I’m sorry your things were stolen. One of my friends recently stole from me too.

          • My condolences, but I’m sure your friend didn’t bend your window bars to get into your house and totally tear the place to shreds, leaving you feeling utterly vulnerable and violated with a gigantic mess to clean up. I actually couldn’t give a crap about anything that was actually stolen, aside from identity theft concerns and the inconvenience of having to replace the items. It was the circumstances themselves that made the experience so bad.

      • James, see Will’s comment at 4:50 – recurrent police tape, sidewalk drug deals evident to even the most obtuse passersby, bullet holes (!) that’s what I meant by sketchy, no offense intended to anybody.

  • I’d go for a place in a quieter location a little bit north or west.

  • im ocd..couldnt live there…they laid the hardwood sideways .. ugh!
    its hard out there for a basket case…

  • Really, really good deal. I live around the corner on Georgia and I wish this house was for sale six months ago.

  • Good deal. Second bath would have been really nice. Basement prepped to customize into hobby, living, or bedroom. Nice looking roof line.

  • I’d definitely say good deal… the square footage is too small for me, but you can finish the basement off. Not crazy about the finishes, while it is 4 or 5 blocks to the metro, that walk can be long, but I think the downsides are pretty well priced in.

    The basement could hold a media room and a half bath.

    If there are downsides that arent evident, maybe it goes for a little under asking – but definitely has the potential to go for significantly above…

  • Does the 805 sq ft include the basement? Or just the livable space?

  • Great price. It should go for a little under. I think the HGTV show Get It Sold filmed down the street at 782 Harvard about 2 or 3 years ago.

    • They did. It was my house. Although the producers left off the part about how the house was shot up in a drive by shooting. HGTV even fixed the bullet holes!!

      So good deal for the block. But just know that the crime issue on the block is far from fixed. I will give props to the police. They really tried hard to clean up that street. It’s just that the liquor store on the corner attracts so much crime.

  • the flippers bought it for 210k in November 2010; i wonder how much work they had to put into it?

  • This is a real Harry Wardman house!

    See Washington Post Story from 2005:

    “Wardman rowhouses in well-to-do neighborhoods are promoted by real estate agents for their quality materials and construction. So valuable are they in some communities that agents have taken to calling copycats “Wardman-style” houses. Some rowhouses in Woodley Park are even protected by preservation rules.

    But in other neighborhoods, the developer’s rowhouses aren’t generally protected, appreciated or even recognized, say preservationists.”

  • I actually stopped by the open house about a week ago, just out of curiosity. It does have a finished basement with an unfinished laundry area that could hold a half or full bath. It is actually a really good deal considering the price of condos in the area. If I didn’t already own a house around the corner, I would snap it up. This will probably sell quick and for more than asking.

  • Almost makes me wish I was still in the market. Looks good to me.

  • Good deal, especially for someone with the skills to finish the basement on their own.

  • Good deal, bring your Kevlar.

  • Will, was the crime the reason you moved? How was working with Sabrina Soto?

  • A year ago I was looking at a place one block north of here, same layout, but much worse condition – and it was only going for about 50K less. The area’s about a 8-9 minute walk to the metro, and there were a lot of nice neighbors one block north. Also, a few alley cats to chase away the rodents 🙂 So this upgraded place looks like a good deal to me.

  • It is a nice property but was in the house and the finishings are poorly done. It appears the contractors or “flippers” were in a hurry and didn’t think through the kitchen very well (but that can be changed). If serious about the property I would have an inspector take a close look at the repair job on the basement support beams. Good price but do your due dilegence when inspecting.

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