Good Deal or Not? “ready to start living” edition (reader request)

This house is located at 4401 7th St, NW:

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The flier says:

“Fantastic space in this unique Petworth detached home. 5BR/Den/Family rooms give you tons of space not to mention the large living room and combo dining/open kitchen complete with granite/stainless. Tons of light from the large windows, front porch, rear balcony, and side yard/patio. HWF on main level and wood-burning FP. Enjoy a completely renovated home, ready to start living”

You can find more info here and photos here.

Lots of readers have been sending requests that we take a look at this one. Does $549,000 sound right for this 5 bed/3.5 bath?

48 Comment

  • How do you get five bedrooms and 3.5 baths into 1600 square feet? Confused. Need floorplan.

  • Haven’t even clicked on the pics and i am already gonna say YES! YES! YES! to quote Sally.

  • On the market for over 2 months…something’s up.

  • I think its priced too low and the will get a bidding war going. Other than being a hike to metro, the house is great. huge, nicely renovated, decent size rooms/kitchen. My prediction is that it goes for at least 610k. I think this is a tactic sometimes used my realtors, low price to get the foot traffic into a place some buyers would normally not consider…then they fall in love with the place and are willing to escalate the offer.

  • It used to be hideous:

    I think they added the 2 extra bedrooms by finishing out the attic, and that’s why the square footage is low in the listing.

  • andy

    Get your kid in to Haynes or Barnard and you are golden.

  • I love the exterior and the size of the lot and the wrap around porch. I hate the interior.

    I dont believe its only 1600 sq ft.

    I dont know anything about this block, but it is pretty far north for me.

    However, 550k seems pretty good – but it hasnt sold, so maybe $500k is a bit more reasonable. I think the interior might turn off a lot of people.

  • I always feel envious of the farmhouse-type homes in this little pocket around Upshur/Webster/Kansas and 7th and 8th. Some of them look really well cared for. It’s too bad this one couldn’t retain any character inside. It looks like any suburban home built in the last 20 years. Still, as someone who wants more space and yard for the money, I’d take it.

    Only real worry is what goes on around these parts at night. It’s close to some low-income housing and all the nonesense that GA Avenue brings.

    • I live closer to Georgia Ave than this house, and none of it spills onto my street. In my experience, at least, what happens on Georgia stays on Georgia.

      What low-income housing are you referring to? Webster and 3rd?

      • I agree with you caballero…I live 2 blks from GA and don’t experience the GA Ave silliness on my block

      • I can’t remember the exact locations. It’s all weirdly interspersed throughout the area in those unattractive low-slung two-story buildings. I remember reading on the listserv about a troublesome house ON GA, maybe a couple blocks north near Allison, and it’s always made me think twice about houses in close proximity. Glad to know it’s not much of a problem.

        • I almost bought a house around the corner, and love, love, love this area. It’s very quiet and there’s a Catholic Church on Webster aruond the corner and is just off Grant Circle. Actually, the area seems pretty gentrified.

        • The house on Allison and Georgia, if it is the one you are referring to, has been taken care of. The problematic tenants are gone, new folks have moved in, and there are lots of new eyes in the neighborhood to make sure that problems don’t resurface. The turnaround in just six months has been impressive.

          I’m not sure what you mean by “unattractive low-slung two-story buildings,” however. Sure, there are low-income folks “interspersed throughout the area,” but Petworth and Columbia Heights are like that in general, aren’t they?

          • andy

            I ran past there this morning and thought how interesting the row houses there are. i think that area right around there must have developed separately from much of the surrounding area, as it seems to have many houses that vary from the wardman uniformity.

          • caballero, one on Kansas between Varnum and Webster; another on 8th between Shepherd and Taylor. There’s another I’m thinking of but I can’t remember where. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you look on Google street view.

            And yes, of course there are low-income people but it’s these buildings that are incongruous with the neighborhood and often enough, that difference is what creates a disconnect with neighbor and concentrates criminal activity.

            Perhaps it’s nothing like some of the high rises in the city or the housing on Columbia between 13th and 14th (to name one example), but I’ve lived in this part of DC long enough to feel legitimate concern.

    • I live right behind this house. It is indeed a wonderful block with very little crime, except for the burglars who patrol the alley behind this house searching for bikes to steal. They’ve pretty much stole them all so not much left.

    • Michelle, you mention low-income housing on 8th between Shepherd and Taylor. That’s a market rate building as far as I know (I used to live across the street, and now live 1 block away). 1BR apartments come up from time to time and are about $800/month and are in good condition. I think there may have been some tenants who could have had public housing vouchers at some point (I knew a woman who lived there who was on disability – but she could have just had rent control). I’ve never had any problems with this building or people who live there. It was funny to see your comment b/c to me one of the best things about this area is that there’s little to no public housing. Average rents in this area are higher than you could get by renting to Section 8 tenants so practically no one does it anymore (we had one Section 8 rental on my block that’s now a group house of young recent college grads).

      Compare this to parts of Columbia Heights that have high-rise buildings that are all subsidized housing…Petworth has a very low density of public housing and lots of turnover.

  • bfinpetworth

    What I’ve heard is that it used to be a boarding house and was very cheaply renovated. Its hard to get a feel for quality in those photos. But you can see it in the carpeted floors upstairs, the cheap bathrooms, the three inch baseboard and window and door molding, the kitchen cabs…. And beyond this, the house sticks out like a sore thumb in the neighborhood. It just looks odd.

  • I walk past this house every day when I walk my dog. I don’t know why it hasn’t sold yet, because that’s a a lot of house for the money, and it’s in a great part of Petworth. From there, it is an 8-9 minute walk to the metro. Good deal.

  • I think the square footage can be explained by the width from front to back. Looking at the living room/kitchen photos, I’d say the house has the same footprint as a Wardman rowhouse–just looks bigger because the front is on the long side of structure.

  • No alley, or parking or basement? Eh. Nice but not over $500k nice.

  • The listing says there’s a finished basement and parking

  • That kitchen, ugh. Stop it with these kitchens people!

  • How hard is it to put trim around windows???

  • The bedrooms are teeny-tiny, the reno is cheap and the backyard is non-existant. It looks great from the outside, lots of character but the inside does not live up to $550K.
    I live around the corner from this house and the block is totally chill. When my friends, who live on U St or in AdMo or Logan come to visit I feel like I need to explain that my street is very quiet and residential but we are still really close to everything. It looks like a leafy suburb but it’s still DC!

  • Looks good to me. I’m sure the renovation is basic flipper and the yellow siding is pretty depressing, but that’s a nice property for the price in Petworth.

  • I wonder if it has a new HVAC unit, electrical service and new plumbing. Without those basics, the house (although crisp looking now) would be a money pit. In fact, pictures of the basement may have revealed old furnace, elect., plumbing.

  • I hate, hate, hate those cheap ass looking windows. The top and bottom windows don’t even match. The front door is cheap and the porch is cheaply done. Yeah, you can move in and live with it but I think it’s overpriced considering all of the stuff you’d have to redo. Then again, if you’re going to stick around for ten years and just gradually work on it okay but I wouldn’t pay over $499,900.

    • I agree that it might not be worth $550,000, but how in the world can you tell that the front door is cheap? I have looked at all the photos, and I can’t get a good look at the front door.

      And come on, you’re going to hate a house because of its windows? There is a LOT of natural light in this house, but you choose to bitch about the quality of the windows? Goodness grief.

    • Those windows arent necessarily cheap. You cant tell by looking at pictures of windows how good of quality they are.

  • I’m not sure how this compares with the comps, but in my mind a sub-3k mortgage for a 5 bedroom in that area is a decent value. If the price came down just a bit more, it’d be in that ballpark.

    I’m jealous of these kinds of homes, as much as I love rowhouses. This one works for me.

    • If you turned this into a group house and rented each room at $600 each (which you’d get fairly easily), you’d cover a mortgage around $3k. Anything in DC that pays its mortgage or better is priced *about* right.

  • It’s a pretty nice house, and very large inside. The basement is fully finished with two rooms and a bathroom, then the furnace room….same look as the rest of the house.

    I stopped thru an open house and all of the systems (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) are all new. The house had not had central AC prior to this renovation. I believe the roof is new as well.

    The chain of title since renovation is that the house had sold soon after renovation with developer held financing….but the purchaser defaulted on the mortgage and left, so the developer had to foreclose and take the house back.

  • Yes, @caballero I will bitch about window quality and I said the windows were cheap looking NOT that they were cheap. Nothing about renovation is cheap these days. The house is livable. I still don’t think it’s worth the price but some fool will pay it.

  • I live two blocks from this house and I’m glad to hear that it has a basement. That said, I think the house is over-priced as it doesn’t sound like the basement is rentable and while the yard looks great, a lot of it isn’t really usable. Also, for anything over $500K in Petworth I expect a garage.

    And by the way, the “low slung, low income” apts mentioned on Kansas Ave between Webster and Varnum have never caused any problems for anyone in the 3 years I’ve lived in this hood. It amazes me that people drive thru a neighborhood occasionally and feel that they can rightly judge what goes on there.

  • Live 5 blocks north of here, walk by occasionally. +1 for this being an absolute terrific area to live. Don’t see any issues from GA Ave in my area, think it stays on GA.

    However, the guys dealing on the corner of 9th and Farragut are bothering me. Hoping the cops come through and bust them up again.

  • i live across from the apartments on kansas between varnum and webster and while i was skeptical about them when i first moved in, i have never heard a peep out of anyone that lives there.

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