Good Deal or Not? “SAFE CONVEYS” edition (reader request)

This home is located at 4832 Illinois Ave, NW:

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The flier says:


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

This 6 bed/4.5 bath is going for $349,000.

27 Comment

  • I’m buying this…

  • Am I missing something? This looks too good to be true. I know it’s not in an “ideal neighborhood” but it’s not that far out. And the inside looks like its in great condition.

  • GREAT DEAL! Wish i was able to buy right now. This will get snatched up quick!

  • Wait, what?
    From Redfin:

    Building Information
    Builder: 2000’S “EXTREME MAKE-OVER”

  • What’s the catch?

  • that’s a great deal! That basement is totally sustainable for a tenant as well. Will sell quickly.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Woah! It looks like it literally just went under contract!

  • What’s with the safe?

  • I’d assume that this settles way above asking.

    What sticks out most to me is how incredibly sad it is that the previous owners were foreclosed upon within 6 months of buying the home. I always wonder what kind of tragedies or just plain old poor decisions are behind houses like these.

  • That’s right around the block from me.

  • Same old story, it’s obvious they are looking for a bidding war and sadly they will get it. The transparency is there, it’s a shame the greedballs can’t just offer a fair market value

    • Not sure what the complaint is?
      It seems to me that at the end of the day you will always end up at “fair market value,” whatever that is at the moment. Whether you get there by offering a property at what you think the fair market value is, or you start low and get a bidding war going that takes the price to that level shouldn’t really make a difference.
      Am I missing something?

      • It wastes a lot of people’s time and a lot of paper. People who wouldn’t normally be interested if it were being listed at what it’s worth end up spending hours looking at it and writing the offer.

      • It wastes enormous amounts of time. Buying a house, especially in DC, is already an incredibly difficult and emotional task. It’s not right to raise people’s hopes and then dash them, or use get them emotionally attached to something they can’t really afford in hopes that they will max out their financing to get it.

        It’s rotten, and doesn’t reflect well on the already rotten businesses of buying and selling real estate.

        • What you (SF) just described sounds like exactly what’s happening to friends and friends of friends who are looking for homes and find themselves being routinely outbid for homes priced at “market value.” Apparently, notwithstanding the burst housing bubble, the crappy job market, and stiffer financing requirements from lenders, it is not at all uncommon for good properties to spark bidding wars these days. Seems to me that “underpricing” just creates a bidding war with a few more participants than usual. I would think that any competent agent would look at this kind of situation and tell his or her clients that the odds are slim they are going to get the property for anything near the “list” price, leaving the option of proceeding to the client.

    • Yeah it sucks to get your hopes up, and you risk disappointment and time with this approach, but that has nothing to do with fair market value. Fair market value = whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Everyone entering into these negotiations understands the time and the risk invovled. Why coddle buyers? I don’t get it.

      • You’re not just making it harder for buyers– their agents don’t appreciate it either. In a field where everyone knows everyone else I think it would be prudent to not be known as the difficult one who always underprices properties to foster a bidding war.

        • Wouldn’t this also screw with the comps, like % of asking? It’s hard enough to navigate the home buying process as is, without real estate tricks like this screwing up a person’s ability to analyze what reasonable prices should be.

          Off market foreclosures, low upfront equity requirements, and perverse government incentives already combine to make it incredibly difficult to know what a *reasonable* price should be. This crap just adds another layer of obfuscation.

          • Right, you have to go in knowing what the comps are, what kind of financing you’re likely to get. You can’t get a loan on $600k if the property assesses at $400k. There’s your check and balance.

            And really, this is business. Agents get paid to navigate this type of negotiation. I only wish the negotiations I have to deal with were so straight forward!

          • The assessments are a check, but the assessments are also largely based on comps (including % of asking) so things could get circular.

            I still don’t trust the real estate market in DC, and seeing realtors pull this kind of car salesman nonsense doesn’t do anything to bolster my confidence that things aren’t still artificially inflated.

          • seems fine to me. buying and selling, this is business. Furthermore, almost every buyer has a professional working for them to help them navigate the process, so it seems even more ok.

            Is it inconvenient to jump right on a listing and know what you’re willing to pay for it? yes. unethical? hardly.

  • This thing should go for $400K. Will be interesting to know what it goes for.

  • i’m guessing the quality of workmanship is really poor on the flip. there is a little evidence in the pictures of it being not quite finished. and the fact that it was foreclosed makes you think there are reasons they gave up on it.

  • Price is way low, but the quality is definitely questionable. Look at the DR ceilings — see how you can see the outlines of the individual sheets of sheetrock?–and a little bit in the kitchen too. And what’s with the weird bump-outs — that one beveled corner in a bedroom, the weird tiled bumpouts over one of the BA doors and along the wall of another BA. Then there’s the “deck” outside the BR, which looks as though someone laid pressure-treated wood, quite some time ago, on top of the existing porch — these porches are not load bearing and need to be reinforced to hold decks on top. I’m not saying it’s not worth more than asking, but I am saying there’s some pretty shoddy workmanship here.

  • saw this house. unusual configuration which is a plus and gives you great living room space, but there are condition issues & a good bit of work is needed. Low inventory and intentionally low listing prices are creating an artificial housing ‘boom’ in DC … tough for buyers out there.

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