Good Deal or Not? “Interior Designer-owned rowhouse built in 1909” edition (owner request)

This home is located at 4019 Marlboro Place, NW:

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The flier says:

“Lovely Rowhouse, great location. Interior Designer-owned rowhouse built in 1909 has a gracious, wide front hallway with 9′ ceilings on the first floor. The circulation is open-plan, and filled with light.

Flooring is all hardwoods (mostly the original heart pine). Newly renovated kitchen/dining area has stainless appliances and sophisticated finishes and lighting. Walk-out basement is finished and has a full bathroom and laundry facilities.

2nd floor has a sky lit hallway and very large bedrooms and renovated bathroom with Ann Sacks tile, double sinks, upscale faucets and shower fixtures. Back yard is fenced, private and fully landscaped with hardy, beautiful drought-resistant perennials and custom built-in boxes perfect for vegetables, flowers or herbs.”

You can find more info and photos here.

$485,000 sound right for this 3 bed/2.5 bath?

50 Comment

  • No central A/C

    • People seem to think not having AC knocks $100K or more off the value of the house…I have the impression that you could make a big profit just by adding AC to a house. Of course, you could just pay $550K to buy a flipped house that already has central AC, but it seems like it would be smarter to pay $450K or so (prob what this house will sell for) for a house in otherwise great shape and add it yourself.

      • +1. I am astonished that people don’t even realize that it doesn’t cost a fortune to install a/c, that they could get window units that work just as well if not better than central air, etc. The amount of whining that goes on about no A/C is ridiculous.

  • I like that the finishes are different than what we usually see, but you’d think that someone who spent so much time and money on their house would take the time to de-clutter a bit before they put their house on the market…

    • do you know their situation?

    • I thought similarly to slb. Like with the stacks of magazines under the cabinets… very neatly stacked, but nonetheless they sorta drew attention to themselves.

      It looks like this one is a “for sale by owner” rather than the owner going through an agent. An agent might’ve advised them to move some of the items to a storage unit temporarily so that potential buyers could more easily imagine themselves in that space.

    • I think it’s funny that PoP’ers were mislead by the fact the house is occupied and the lead-in cited it owned by an interior decorator. If it were empty and the mind trick of calling out the decorator wasn’t there – these are a lot of the same finishs always criticized here. Ikea cabinets, bland stainless, contractor grade slate tile around the fireplace etc.

      It looks like a good house, good reno… but think it is funny how the commentariat was thrown off their snark.

    • You should clean and unclutter your house before you take pictures and put them all over the web…especially if you say you’re an interior decorator, you understand the aesthetics of clutter.

  • bfinpetworth

    Too high. No central A/C is a big deal at this price point in this neighborhood.

    No parking is also a big deal. The house is very attractive but it is not so much so that it will overcome these deficiencies at this price.

    Also no picture, as far as I can tell, of any backyard area. Is there one?

    • parking is not a big deal in this neighborhood at all.

    • I live half a block away and have never had to park more than 2 houses from my front door. Parking is truly not an issue in this area and will not be unless the Soldiers Home is ever developed.

      I also think some buyers will gladly trade in off street parking for outdoor space, as many homes in the immediate area only offer one or the other. I didn’t want a concrete slab for a backyard.

  • All that money renovating and no central air. That is a pretty destructive decision, especially in this climate and at that price.

    While it may only cost ~$15K to install central air in a house that size, the effort and inconvenience would drive my offer by 25-30K. No one wants to buy a “move-in” ready house to then start tearing down walls and ceilings.

    • We added Spacepak AC to our house in the fall. This is the small-duct system which we chose to not mess up the architecture of the house. We had zero mess, no torn-down walls, and ran the small ducts through closets. It was all done in 3 days for 18K. Our AC in each room comes in thru small round ports that resemble recessed lighting – very unobtrusive. I think it went so smoothly because of the company we used – Cropp-Metcalfe. But seriously – not that big of a deal. I’d rather pay way less for a house and add AC myself after this experience.

      • I think it depends on the buyer. I didn’t come out of closing with an extra 20 grand to put into the house, so if the AC wasn’t in the financing it wasn’t going to happen.

        • Agreed. We came out of closing with enough to get a sofa and a bed. If the house didn’t come with a/c it wouldn’t be happening for a while.

          THOUGH AS I KEEP COMPLAINING, OUR A/C STILL ISN’T WORKING. I am going to post that every day until it’s fixed! Carry on. πŸ™‚

          I think this place is pretty cute, favorite part being its curb appeal, but at that price point with no a/c I’d have to walk away. Re parking, we have the concrete slab backyard (plan to green it up a little though). Not knowing how the neighborhood will change and what demands will be, I like the idea of at least one off street spot.

    • Go ahead and lose a good house to someone who gets it.

  • Last week’s GDoN revisited post is a similar location but a bit nicer overall (and better staging), central AC, and an extra full bathroom; sold in 8 days for 570K. So 485K compensates for those differences and is pretty close; I bet it goes for within 10-15K of that.

    • actually last week’s GDONR also had private parking. And if this has roof damage, as mentioned below, then probably a bit high.

  • This has me wondering about something. Usually sellers are advised to sell in the summer because demand is higher and properties sell faster. But if the house has no AC, would it be deterimental to put it on the market during the hottest part of the year?

    • On a day like today’s it’s hard to a house with no A/C but I’ve been amazed to find several houses on the market in this funky section of Petworth (southeast near the Soldier’s Home)–all with no A/C and asking price in the $450-500K range.

      One thing this one has going for it is it’s not cookie-cutter and it looks like they’ve retained some of the original appointments like molding and doors.

      Not crazy about some of that stone/pebble flooring

  • Hmm seems a little steep with no AC and the roof damage. But with some work it could really be stunning

  • Agreed no central air was a bizarre oversight in renovation and should knock down the price by a fair amount. Also, although I like most of the finishes, it bugs me to see pine flooring called “hardwood.”

    • @CE, heart pine is hardwood. Hard as a freaking rock. That’s why it’s so nice to have and why they take it out of old buildings being torn down and re-sell it.

      Heart pine comes from the incredibly hard center (heart) of old growth longleaf and yellow pine trees, most of which were trees that were 200-300 years old. Pine trees have to get quite large to develop that hard heart section in the middle. Which is it’s hard to find new heart pine. We’ve already torn down a lot of the older pine trees, and the existing ones that are old enough to have the heart wood are often protected. Making actual heart pine very valuable.

  • I think it is probably priced about right, though may go for 10-15 less or so (for lack of A/C- agree with others, a strange oversight in the rehab). I am also less than impressed by the finishes in this “interior designer” owned house. They are alright, and maybe looked cool back when the rehab was done, but they already looked a little dated to me. And agree, all of the clutter doesn’t help. Surprised this is an interior designer’s home (don’t think I’d want to hire them!) but I think the price is ok.

  • Heart pine is not “hardwood.” I learned this in interior design school.

  • I am an interior designer myself and completely not impressed. Overall it’s hard to see the design details with all the clutter around the house. I agree with others on the AC issue. My husband and I purchased a house in petworth last year and complete gutted the home and added central heating and air. It cost about 20K, but completely worth it with this heat.

  • Agree, not impressed. Looks like your typical contractor flip from 2004 to me.

  • There is a house about 1.5 blocks away at Shepherd and Illinois that is under contract after being listed at 609k for a whopping total of 8 days.

    Now, I don’t know what the sales price was, but the house was gutted and flipped in about 6.5 weeks so if it sells for close to the list price I’d say the Marlboro St. house is a good deal.

  • Tasteful, but no central A/C is a minus, as is no en suite bath.

  • My house has window units and it feels fine, been here 5 years. Is AC a mental deal maker/breaker?

  • not for me, when I bought or now. But for someone with a family and lots of rooms occupied at the same time, it might be. I find it easier to have just window units, and cool off the room I’m in, instead of the whole house (a Petworth row, btw). My bills are only $50 a month in the summer that way. Someday I might get a small roof unit, but I don’t need it for myself.

  • I love how everyone sees the price of a house and then sees that it has no a/c and automatically assumes they can deduct extra money. Ever think that the lack of ac is priced in already? Whenever you see a price you can’t just assume that this is the starting point and you can just start deducting for everything you wish it was. Also central ac isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s expensive to run and maintain and I know plenty of folks with flipped houses that have to bolster theirs with window units anyway due to poor design.

    I don’t know if this is a good deal… seems the comps in petworth are not very consistent.

  • I was expecting a complete mess after reading these comments, but I thought it looked pretty nice (yes there was some clutter but not enough so that you couldn’t see what the room looked like) I’d say it’s not a bad deal.

  • How can an interior designer have such a horribly staged crib? Just horrible. Get rid of the clutter!

  • I really don’t understand the obsession with A/C… clearly people have lived in this house for 100 years without it. It’s wasteful, harmful to the environment and expensive to run… i just simply don’t get it.

    Open your windows! Sit on your porch! Take a cold shower if you need to. I live up the street from this house and have for over 3 years… don’t have A/C and don’t need it.

    • you don’t work from home, huh?

    • I’d rather be in a warm house than my freezing cold office. πŸ™‚

      I think it depends on the house. Mine stays pretty cool– we did have the AC on last week but most of the time we can get by without it. On the other hand, my last place because a stuffy unbearable hellhole if the AC wasn’t running.

  • This house is under contract, just checked. Hope all you haters can sell your house that fast.

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