(Was it a) Good Deal or Not? Cat Transom edition

This home is located at 726 6th St. SE:

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The flier says:


You can find more info here and photos here.

Dang, I waited to long to post this one. But the question I had still remains – what would you do if you bought a house with a transom like this – keep it or replace it?

I actually do think someone got a pretty good deal – this 3 bed/1.5 was on the market for $495,000. If it went for that amount do you think it was a good deal?

45 Comment

  • Um….that transom would have to go! I can just hear some HGTV person talking about too taste specific.

    Baseboard heating makes me wonder about the mechanicals of this house.

  • I was dreaming of this place when it was on the market. A few blocks to my work and steps to Barracks Row. And to own a row home under $500k? It needs some elbow grease, but with the right work, it could be really, really nice.

    And I would trash the transom. Cats are creepy (to me) and that one looks demonic. Like a demonic cat is picking out flowers for my funeral. Every time I come home. No thanks.

  • If I bought this house, I’d have to go out and get a black and white cat.

  • creepy transom

  • I have cats and I have had black and white cats but that transom would be down the first day I moved in!

  • Twelve photos that could only show two rooms? I’m sure the reasons it went so cheaply are in the areas of the house not shown. (You can see a sliver of the kitchen through a doorway in the second photo)

    • I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have one. Under “Dining & Kitchen” it lists only “Separate Dining Room”. Not sure what that is in the photo– maybe a W/D? $495k would be a steal even for a kitchen you had to totally redo.

  • I wonder what’s wrong with it.

  • When did $500k for a mediocre house become a good deal?

    Serious question…is everyone in DC rich? I mean, where I’m from I’d get a huge McMansion for 500k, with a big yard and 4 car garage. I realize property in big cities like DC, NY, Chicago are different than say the Mid-West, and I know it’s all about location, but geesh! How can one that want’s to stay in this area ever afford such expensive property?

    I actually have an OK job, and both my financé and I make OK money, but everything in DC, especially non “ghetto” hoods is well over 500k, in many cases over a million. What gives? Does everyone here have that much money, or are they in super debt? I don’t get it (hence the reason I guess I don’t own property).

    • We have ok jobs and live in a $750k house in this area (closer to the metro)– we each pay about $2000 a month. It’s a stretch, sure, but we’d be paying almost as much if we rented.

      • BTW it helps if you’re patient. We searched for two years before pouncing on our house– it was the middle of winter and the owners had to move quickly because of a job– and got a pretty good deal. Had it gone on the market in the summer it would have gone for 100k more.

      • Yeah, I guess there are some deals, and together, we’re paying about 2100 / month for rent. To get a house we’d really want, we’d both need to spend about $1000 more per month, and I’m just not sure we can swing it. Perhaps after a few more pay raises…Or, I’ll just move to a town like Austin TX, Portland OR, or Asheville NC. I’ve looked at houses there, and 500k gets you A LOT. Fortunately, I have a job where I could work remotely, but my financé does not. So moving to a city with a job market that’s not as hot as DC is certainly a risk. Meaning if we moved, and she couldn’t find a job, we’d be no better off than we are here.

        I don’t know…I just wish prices across the board would come down some here…I just can’t wrap my head around buying a $500k + row house.

        • Hey, I can empathize– I felt that way for years. Unfortunately it’s just the laws of supply and demand at play.

          • We have ok jobs, not huge wage earners, but bought our house in the early 1990s for under $200,000. Now it’s worth 3x that. Just lucky timing for us. That was cheap even then.

          • Envious! Makes me wish I wasn’t 8 years old in 1990.

          • I know 🙁

            I guess I’m not as far off as I think I am, but I just want a house now. Unfortunately, most of DC is out of my range right now, and I don’t want to move to Fairfax or PG County.

            Hopefully in a year or two, I’ll be singing a different tune 🙂

      • “okay jobs” gets you a 750k house? fuck i wish i had an okay job.

    • Solutions: reconsider your idea of “the ghetto”, then move to the ghetto and hold on tight. We bought in Petworth this summer for $360k: a house that needs work but is totally livable and can support a basement renter.

      • Good advice. Maybe I should get a Realtor to help me find some “up and coming” type places??

        • There are a ton of places you can buy a nice house for under $500,000.

          Go drive around eckington, bloomingdale, trinidad, h street, petworth, and hill east. Then go to franklymls.com and see what kinds of things are available.

          • Thanks! I was getting down in the dumps searching the Post and stuff like that…Seemed like anything I had any interest in was well over 700k. I think I’m going to talk to a REaltor after our wedding and see what we can / cannot do.

            Thanks again 🙂

          • I had the same hesitation – but i was able to find a place in the eckington/bloomgindale/ledroit area that was twice the size I had been looking for for 60% of the price. So keep up the hope!

      • That’s the key. We bought in Mt. Pleasant right after the 1990 riots and in the midst of the Mt. Pleasant shooter. Remember him? Killed 7 people in Mt. P and Columbia Heights. Housing prices in the hood plummeted then, and we bought ours. Mind you, it was a major fixer-upper.

        • Mt. Pleasant shooter (James Swann – 1993 – shotgun stalker) was a crazy guy who could have been a crazy guy anywhere. You profited from a tragic anomaly (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

          But true reality – people who got a good deal in now-hip Columbia Heights bought back when it was Anacostia.

      • I second that. Petworth does have some unsavory residents (at least as the numerous shooting indicate), but most are great neighbors, and a year and a half ago I got a nice rowhouse 3/4 of a mile north of the metro for $240K.

    • US Citizens have it all and own nothing. Yes. We are all in super debt.

  • By the way, I’m surprised I’m the only one who likes the transom and would definitely keep it. Funny. I think it’s kinda cool.

  • Mr. T would dig it.

  • To the commenter lamenting the lack of affordable options – if you are willing to look at neighborhoods east of rock creek park that are not nightlife centers, you can easily find a decent house under 500k.

    We live in Brookland in a former GDON that we got under 250k less than a year ago.

  • Transom is AWESOME!!!!
    Questionable to remove it. Criminal to damage it.

  • There are worse things going on with the exterior of this house than a personalized transom. The interior with bookshelves and exposed brick, double fireplace is kind of cool, but some prior owner really butchered the exterior. I’m fairly certain it used to have a second floor bay window and cornice like the house on the right.

    Plus the water proofing detail on top of the now exposed first floor bow window is questionable. It should have some sort of sloped flashing.

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