GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 1225 10th St NW

Hipchickindc is a licensed real estate broker and a professional artist. Her official real estate bio is here and her art website is here. Unless specifically noted, neither she nor the company that she is affiliated with represented any of the parties or were directly involved in the transaction reported below. Unless otherwise noted, the source of information is Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), which is the local multiple listing system. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property: 1225 10th St NW

Legal Subdivision: Old City #2
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Old City #2
Original List Price: $850,000.
List Price at Contract: $850,000.
List Date: 05/16/2011
Days on Market: 12

Settled Sales Price: $815,000.

Settlement Date: 07/28/2011
Seller Subsidy: $0.
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No
Type Of Financing: Conventional

Original Good Deal or Not post is: here

The listing can be seen: here. Pics can be seen by clicking through the arrows on the main pic after opening the listing link.

In downtown DC, even within a very defined neighborhood boundary, the wide range of styles, conditions, sizes of homes and corresponding lots provides challenges for pricing and appraisal. In this case, we have a very unique property (a carriage house), on a large lot that had once been three lots, with a combination of residential and commercial zoning, located on a historic cool funky alley in a historic district, all in play. Some of the comments in the original Good Deal or Not (GDoN) post (see link above) provide some additional perspective.

Continues after the jump.

I had the opportunity to visit the property twice with a buyer client who was quite enamored with the quirkiness and possibilities. I wrote an offer on their behalf, but there were ultimately several competing offers and it went to another party. My clients were a young family with children, who were planning to renovate the existing carriage house for their own residential use. I believe the buyers who actually went to settlement purchased with the intent of residing in the property. There was definitely developer interest in the property, but the zoning restrictions made it a potentially expensive project.

The major obstacle for residential purchasers considering this property was financing. Carriage houses can be similar to loft condos in that the space can be expansive, but technically there may be only one or two actual bedrooms (one in this carriage house). The property also has an unusually large lot. Unless the financing was approached as a commercial or renovation loan, it is unlikely that the development potential was factored into the appraiser’s valuation. Properties that are outliers present quandaries to residential lenders, whose guidelines for avoiding risk are based upon norms and comparison.

16 Comment

  • Am I the only one that thinks this purchase was insane?

    • Nope – I also think it is nuts to pay that for a carriage house. Don’t get me wrong, I love the property and all the space you get on the lot, but $850 seems nuts. I guess you pay for the acreage on the lot more than anything…property in the city is not cheap.

  • Yeah, this is absurd. There’s only 1 BR, and it can’t be more than, what, 1000 sq ft?

    Meanwhile, 1 block away, a 3BR rowhouse was going for the same price:

  • Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow. Insane doesn’t even cut it.

  • It’s hard to tell from the seven photos of the property, but it looks to me like there’s not even a door to the one bedroom. If so, that makes it even more insane.

    I never understand layouts like that. If you have guests staying with you, you might as well be in a studio for all of the privacy you (don’t) have.

  • Sadly, the pictures do not do the property any justice. In addition to the current living level, there is an entire first level with great ceiling height (~9-10 feet). I wouldn’t be into it based on the pics, but it’s one of my top ten favorite properties I’ve seen in DC.

  • If I ever sell, I want this realtor. This place had no business going for this price. She must be amazing.

  • Ridiculous. 850k for a 1 br/1 bath ?!?! Probably less than 100 sq. ft.

    Whoever bought this must really not know the area..

  • Didn’t we do a GDoN about a Dupont carriage house that was on the market for $2 mill+? In between those apartments/condos between S + R and 20th + 19th?

    I think a big carriage house is neat. Private. No traffic noise. Similar but not as good as a condo that overlooks an alley and faces other condos — of which there are thousands in DC. Here, you have a big yard. Who else has big yard in this neighborhood — width *and* length?

    I also like the blank slate aspect.

  • It’s funny. All the cool kids want “open floor plans.” They buy rowhouses and knock down all the interior walls so they have one big living room/dining room/kitch/breakfast nook from front to back. Now here’s a carriage house that comes with the open floor plan already in place and somehow that’s crazy.

    The lot has room for a 4-unit condo if they want to build one. Let’s revisit in 5 years.

    • From what I could tell while househunting the open floor plans were less desirable. Those houses always sat on the market longer and sold for less than those that had all the original walls. Open floor plans are neat for something like a large modern condo, but you lose a lot of character when you create them in old houses.

      • You can have your own take on closed vs. open floorplans issue, but the truth is that open is what most people prefer today. Look at the ratio of flips that are open vs. those that are closed.

  • We looked at this as a development site but ultimately passed. You can’t build 4 units, and you can’t remove the carriage house, as it’s historic and on Blagden Alley. Buildings on Blagden Alley that are renovated have sold for $750k. Our plan would have been to build two units on the front lot on 10th St, and one one unit in the renovated carriage house. It would have been a fun historic project, but in the end we decided there were better opportunites elsewhere in DC.

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