Good Deal or Not? “carriage house in impeccable condition” edition

This carriage house is located at 424 11th St, NE:

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The flier says:

“Rare opportunity! Incredibly unique Capitol Hill carriage house in impeccable condition! Very open, spacious two bedroom home. Dramatic LR ceiling, beautiful refinished hardwood floors throughout, countless windows providing exceptional light, CAC, FP, large shared patio. This home has everything! Easy pkg. Great chance to invest by hot H St. corridor!”

You can find more info here and photos here.

I think the “countless windows” claim is perhaps a bit dramatic but otherwise seems very cool. $549,000 sound right for this 2 bed/1 bath?

58 Comment

  • The main floor seems really dark and basementy-y. But I like the finishes in the kitchen/bathroom. I’m not too familiar with what homes in that area sell for, but seems a little high to me.

  • Seems a little high for a carriage house, but I like the looks of it, especially the industrial style sinks in the kitchen.

    Also – shared deck?

  • I, personally, think it’s cute, but $550k is a tad ridiculous. For 1200 square feet? For a house in an alley? Most carriage homes seem to be in mid-high $400s. And while a commercial kitchen looks cool, it really has no storage and (essentially) a dorm fridge. And no easy metro access. Come on, $550k?

    • easy metro access is about a 15 min walk to union station. The shared deck scares me, the main house also has a deck above the shared deck-which kind of also weirds me out on the privacy front. Agree with the no storage, if you live in a 1200 sq ft home…you need lots and lots of storage. I’d say it will sell for 517K.

      • it sold for 546K in 2007.

        • That is proof that 549K is over prices not under priced. Shared deck and 1 bathroom, make the max value on this 450K. It would not be worth that to me without any real yard or a place to sit and talk to people walking by on the street.

      • My home’s not much bigger than this one and, like most old houses, has very little built-in storage (my bedroom closet is about a foot wide and triangular). You can find ways to work around it.

    • Someone paid $546k for it 4 years ago – and H St + surrounding ‘hood has become a ton more attractive since then. They’ll probably get close to $549k. What surprises me is that the current owners haven’t finished the basement. Add a rec room, bathroom, laundry and storage down there and this place would feel bigger. Wonder what’s up with that.

      Metro access wouldn’t stop me from buying on that block. Easy 10 block walk to Union Station in decent weather, bus other times.

    • There is plenty of storage in the basement. Dorm fridge? This is a huge commercial-grade undercounter refrigerator. There is also a separate freezer.

    • The kitchen has lots of shelves. It is open design, thus no cabinets. Dorm fridge? This is a commercial-grade undercounter refrigerator. There is also a separate freezer.

  • I like carriage houses, but the kitchen in this one doesn’t particularly do it for me, and the main floor seems dimly lit. I was thinking this would be priced at least $100K-$150K lower.

  • Looks very cool and the location is good Capitol Hill near H Street area. Can’t tell from pics how big it is, but I like the look otherwise. Could be a fun first home for a young couple without kids or someone single.

  • I count 6 windows.

  • That might (potentially) be the biggest waste of half a million dollars in Washington. And it’s quite easy to waste that much money around here.

    • Not to disagree with you AMP, but you have no idea what homes in this area go for. This may be a bit high, but I bet it sells for over 500K. And it wouldn’t be even close to being the biggest waste of half a million dollars in DC. See Kwame’s two car leases, and Team Thomas. You may not like it, but I bet someone does.

      • Agreed. Hard to find houses around here that go for less than $600k, unless they need a ton of work. And the average price for a condo in the NE part of the Hill is close to $400k.

  • Wow.

    So, there’s “worth it” and there’s “worth it.” On the one hand, if the 2007 purchase is a guide, then someone will decide this house is worth the asking price and will pay for it.

    On the other hand…

    … that much money for a small carriage house with a shared deck? For such a teensy house in Capitol Hill, a 15 minute walk from Metro, when you could spend that much and get a full row house with a back yard and maybe even a deck of your very own? And be closer to Metro and buses and even walking to stuff you might enjoy?

    Wouldn’t be worth it to me.

  • Wow.

    So, there’s “worth it” and there’s “worth it.” On the one hand, if the 2007 purchase is a guide, then someone will decide this house is worth the asking price and will pay for it.

    On the other hand…

    … that much money for a small carriage house with a shared deck? For such a teensy house in Capitol Hill, a 15 minute walk from Metro, when you could spend that much and get a full row house in Columbia Heights with a back yard and maybe even a deck of your very own? And be closer to Metro and buses and even walking to stuff you might enjoy?

    Wouldn’t be worth it to me.

    • Well, it wouldn’t be worth it to me to live in Columbia Heights. Furthermore, I don’t think home prices are that much different over there.

    • teensy? this has a very different layout from most houses, but pretty similarly sized

      the average row house is 1200-1300 sq ft of livable space on two floors, with a basement adding another 600-700 sq ft.

  • I looked at it last weekend, it’s a lot more bright and open than the photos, feels really big … also a ton of storage in the unfinished basement, which would need to be dug out in order to finish … much better comparison as a condo alternative than to other houses in the area … the kitchen is really cool, but suffers from space issues

    why don’t people spend a few bucks on a professional photographer when they’re marketing a half-million dollar item that nearly everyone will see and make their first impression online?

    • Great points all around – thanks for the input. If I could vote this comment to the top, I would.

      • Agreed. Back when I was house hunting I’d comment whenever PoP posted one I’d seen. Often the impression you get from seeing it online is very different from the impression you get seeing it in person.

  • $457/ft plus a basement is a deal. 1000 sqft federals with no basement and sometimes no parking regularly go for 500k+. Also, if you don’t like the shared deck, build a roof deck. This place also actually has style, which in this age of “OMG everything must be plain vanilla so that you don’t risk alienating the next possible buyer” is worth more than a little.

  • another note … anything south of maryland feels a lot more like capitol hill than “h street” … but this location is still pretty convenient to restaurants/bars on H, mass ave, and eastern market / barracks row

    • yea, I’d add that if you’re trying to get the best of both worlds (eastern mkt/H Street) then this area looks perfect. Barrocks Row with the in-laws, H street with the college friends.

  • Again with the half-a-million-dollar glorified garage in an alleyway. WTF are people thinking these days?

    I’m going to buy an ancient trash dumpster, park it in the alley behind my house, spruce it up a bit with some granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, and see if I can’t get a couple hundred thou out of it.

    • hahahahaha, you’re so right about the granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. people shit themselves over that stuff. I can see the granite counter tops, they’re durable and you can f ’em up and they don’t look much different… but stainless steel? it doesn’t work any better.

  • holy hell! I love this house!


    I saw this house for sale for somewhere around $200K. The sellers agent needs to start calling it a ‘carriage house’ and jack it up another 250K.

    • or move it into a historic district with one of the hottest real estate markets in the country

      • My point being, these carriage houses are usually nothing special, save location. In this case it’s about five whole blocks away.

        • the houses are 0.9 miles + one world apart

          • Whatever makes you think it’s worth the premium.

            DC’s housing market is all over the place right now, and I don’t see how somebody talks themselves into a half-million dollar garage house when there are larger houses half that cost only a few blocks away. As for the ‘world apart’ comment, you must not frequent the 7-11 on 8th and Maryland. There’s plenty of scary crackhead all over that neighborhood.

          • Look, of course location is important. I’m only saying that there are some utterly insane premiums being put on locations that are literally a stone’s throw from houses half the price with the same square footage + property. It’s not like this house is on top of a metro, in a great school district, or in a neighborhood without crime.

            I live in this neighborhood. It doesn’t add up, and it’s not a good investment, IMO.

        • A big 5 blocks away

          • It is a big 5 blocks, socioeconomically speaking.

          • In response to SF.

            you say “literally a stone’s throw from houses half the price with the same square footage + property.” Well I’m in the market and like this neighborhood, please find me a house that is the same square footage and quality for half the price. I’ll say a stones throw is five blocks. And what you posted above won’t do. Its actually more than ten blocks.

            You may think its a bad price and it may be (I’m not in the mkt for a carriage house) but to say you can find a similar house a stone’s throw away for half the price is false.

          • Did George Washington throw a silver dollar across the Potomac River?

            No. This myth is often told to demonstrate his strength. The Potomac River is over a mile wide and even George Washington was not that good an athlete! Moreover, there were no silver dollars when Washington was a young man. His step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, reported in his memoirs that Washington once threw a piece of slate “about the size and shape of a dollar” across the Rappahanock River near Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Rappahannock River at the site of the Washington family homestead today measures only 250 feet across, a substantial but perhaps not impossible distance to throw.

        • You could also say a row house is nothing special, save location. You really haven’t made a point. Real estate is location, location, location. This 5 blocks is actually about 10+ blocks. Not to mention the interior is probably completely different…and less diserable.

  • I just saw the house this weekend, and it looks amazing. The photos don’t do it justice. There is actually plenty of light, because though you can’t tell from the photos, the living room area has really high ceilings and there are windows at the top near the ceiling.
    The fridge is industrial style under the counter, and is not like one reader wrote a “dorm fridge.” Another note on the kitchen for all you foodies out there, it has an industrial style 6 burner gas stove, which for some reason isn’t being shown in the photos.
    The basement has just recently been re-finished but the ceilings are too low for there to be a rec-room, instead it provides tons of storage, since it’s the entire footprint of the house.
    The agent explained to me that it’s easiest to call it a Carriage house, though in fact it was really a steam heating room for the main building. The main building once functioned as an infirmary.

  • Why why why is H Street so overpriced? No metro, no streetcar (please be realistic, maybe 2017 if ever), disconnected from the energy of the city, not near any of the ‘desirable’ neighborhoods of NW like U Street, Dupont, AM, Georgetown, etc…

    Please explain!

    • I’ve made similar comments about NW neighborhoods like Mount Pleasant, which are similarly priced. For me and my partner Capitol Hill is a lot more conveniently located and the pace of development here has been incredible. If you really think it is “disconnected from the energy of the city” you haven’t spent much time out here!

      • I guess by energy you mean stuffy, corrupt, overpaid politicians? I was talking about H St which is funny b/c everytime I blink a new area is being dubbed “Capitol Hill”.

        • Are you talking about where this property is located? Because it’s well within the boundaries of Capitol Hill. Funny you should mention corrupt politicians of all things– I actually don’t know a single person in my neighborhood who’s involved in politics. Again, it sounds like you’ve never ventured out of NW, which is unfortunate.

          Anyway, to get back to your original point: although this neighborhood obviously isn’t to your liking, there are a lot of people who do want to live here, and that’s why the prices are as high as they are.

        • this house is in the Capitol Hill Historic District, not sure how much more “Capitol Hill” you can get

  • It sounds like you want to buy in H Street. IMO H Street has lots of energy, try getting a table at any of the restaurants/bars (even on a Wednesday). The 1300 block is a mile away from Union Station. Adams M (.8 The Reef)is just under a mile for Dupont. Not much difference, maybe 2 minutes walking.

    I think, and this is my opinion, that people who want to buy on H Street-see it as the next big thing, faster growth than anywhere in the city. They also have probably lived in DC for a couple of years and now know that they want to continue living here for the next 5+ years. NW no longer is the *only* place to live. They’ve probably been to Capitol Hill and see that its a little town in a big city and want something like that versus the energy that comes with Columbia Heights or Petworth. (I like both CH and Petworth) Capitol Hill is to expensive for the most of us, so they look north and east-rising prices there too.

    • SouthwestDC

      We thought we were priced out of Capitol Hill and were looking mostly around the north and east perimeteres, but we ended up finding a great reasonably-priced house a block from Eastern Market. Our neighbors got a similar good deal when the house they bought was reduced by over $200k due to lack of interest. So you never know!

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