Good Deal or Not? “Green” features throughout edition

This home is located at 711 Shepherd St, NW:

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The flier says:

“A gem at the Petworth Metro! Quality restoration – 4 BR, 3.5 bath, 3 level home. Kit w/ custom cabs, granite, SS Energy Star appls, & wine rack. Powder rm on main. Fully fin LL suite w/ W/ D hookup. Rear deck, huge terraced yard, 2-car OSP. “Green” features throughout, dual flush and water saving bath fixtures, custom closet inserts, some original components preserved w/ upgrades to systems.”

You can find more info here and photos here.

$599,000 sound right for this 4 bed/3.5 bath?

Ed. Note: A 4 bed/3.5 bath just went under contract a block away at 723 Taylor St, NW (asking $599,000)

34 Comment

  • Nice kitchen but priced about $100,000 too high. Also the bathroom renovations are IKEA.

  • Beautiful house but at 1,254 square feet (300 sq ft less than the comp), and without a front entrance for the lower level, this is overpriced. I’d say 540K, tops, based on the comps… but personally, I don’t think this area should be supporting comps of this magnitude and it’s likely a bubble property, so I wouldn’t go for it unless it was sub-500K.

    • There are lots of other recent comps in this price range, so the price is easily supported (1 on this block, 2 on Taylor, and maybe 4 on Upshur St, all flip renovations, all in the last year or so); plus houses just south of the Petworth metro towards Columbia Heights easily sell for $600K+. In a prime location and near so much ongoing development it’s hard to see how this could be a “bubble” property, especially with many other houses going for the same price. With the way the market has been I don’t think you could see the market at any kind of peak.

      Still, I can definitely see the point of view of buying more of a fixer upper and redoing it the way you like (that’s what I did). But that also means spending all your free money/time on your house…

      • The properties that sell for 600k+ are considerably larger than this listing. It’s quite rare that Petworth or Columbia Heights supports a contract above $400/sqft, even for a total reno. This listing comes in at almost $500/sqft, making it considerably overpriced. It is a unique unit for having a LL and a large backyard, but then again, no private parking. The comps simply do not support this price. They could support a price of $480-550k, which I suspect is where this unit will sell. Although to be fair it is a more stylish reno than most.

        • Oops, there is parking.

        • My post said houses SOUTH of the Petworth metro towards Columbia Heights sell for $600K+. My point was that Petworth is on the edge of a rapidly gentrifying area so you might expect prices that you see nearby also to be seen soon in Petworth proper. I haven’t seen any similar rowhouses sell for over $600K, however, so they are reaching with an asking price of $599K. There are at least 4 houses, that were similar full renovations, that sold between $550K and $575K within 2 blocks of this house (including the house next door, which sold for $555K, and I’d be willing to bet this house also sells in that price range.

          • The house next door is 25% larger (1680 sqft) and is a very similar reno from top to bottom minus the kitchen in the basement. So if you were feeling lucky and priced the home in question at 10% more than what the home next door sold on per square footage basis, it would be priced at 489k. So in my opinion 599k is too high, and of course, the home would never appraise for that much and the seller knows it.

    • The area has supported plenty of comps near this price. You may question whether this particular house deserves that price, but the neighborhood comps are hardly a reflection of a bubble.

      Under 500K? Sounds like sour grapes.

      • It is, admittedly, a very pretty house and close to the metro, so I’m not trying to hate on it too much. But..

        I’m just saying, if I’m going to buy rather than rent I would hope to make money or break even on the property in 5-10 years time. If I paid $600K for this house, I would have little expectation of seeing the house rise significantly, if at all, above that value– after a few years it will no longer be sparkling new, and if there is anything that affects borrower’s ability to access government backed loans I think houses like this are going to lose value very, very quickly.

    • I take it as given that the listed square footage is a lie — that goes for every listing on the MLS. For example, this home at least the same size as the comp, if not bigger.

      Realtors can’t tell the truth about square footage under any circumstances.

  • I went to the open house this weekend, and it’s really nice on the inside. I live nearby, and this house is in a great spot in Petworth. And the bathrooms are definitely not Ikea!

    • Pretty sure they are

      I mean not there is anything wrong with that … just recognizing it for what it is. Count me in as one of those who prefers IKEA over most of the dreck that Home Depot stocks.

      • Ok, so I don’t mean to sound like a hater (especially since I love Petworth and Petworthians) …… but only the sink and the faucet are from Ikea. That’s all it takes to be labeled an “Ikea renovation”?

        • it’s one of those things people like to be specific about. like neighborhood boundaries and where the best bbq comes from.

        • Ouch – never buy a faucet from Ikea. They break down in 3 years and Ikea does not make replacement parts (valve stems etc.) Otherwise the cabinets, vanities etc. are just fine.

          • That may be your experience with IKEA faucets, but not mine. I’ve got one that has been perfectly in service for 11+ years. Maybe your were too rough with it.

          • We once had an Ikea showroom person specifically tell us not to buy a faucet from Ikea. Some of them look cool, but they really are very cheap– at least the kitchen faucets. As I mentioned in an earlier post about concrete counters, I think the way to go is save money with Ikea cabinetry and then spend extra on the finishing touches. A Grohe faucet that was the inspiration for an Ikea faucet might be $300 more, but it will be built like a tank.

        • Not sure if you’re referring to my comment in particular but I said it was a bathroom renovation, not an entire home renovation. I only have the pictures to go by, but the rest of the fixtures (hooks, accessories) are also from IKEA. Of course IKEA does not make shower faucets or toilets. I actually like the way they’ve retrofitted the (probably original) cabinet in the bathroom into a sink. That adds a very nice touch to the space.

          IKEA usually gets a (somewhat deserved, somewhat undeserved) bad wrap, especially in fixtures. I’m not saying it should affect the value of the home (although much more high quality fixtures would probably command a higher price), I’m just saying it could be helpful to identify where the reno items are coming from. I still think the unit would be far overpriced even if it used top quality fixtures.

      • The Ikea stuff gets a bad rap, but it’s largely unwarranted. There’s a wide range of options, so yeah, if you go super cheap it will probably look and feel super cheap. But if you spend a bit more to get in the upper range, you can beat the pants off of other cabinetry for the same price. The Ikea upgrades that include glass paneled doors and steel handles are super, super expensive to get elsewhere.

        It’s not going to be the same quality of an all-wood, custom hung cabinet set. I don’t think anybody expects it to be. But when we remodeled our kitchen, we compared what we could get through a contractor vs what we could get from Ikea and it was no contest. The Ikea quality was much, much higher. We put the savings into a one of a kind concrete countertop that is, in my opinion, a lot more impressive than any specialty cabinets.

        • I wouldn’t say there’s a wide range of options– it’s all the same style. So if you like that style you’re in luck, but otherwise not. That’s the biggest reason I don’t shop at IKEA.

          • I’m not sure what you mean by the ‘same style’. The mechanics and sizes are all the same, but there is a whole line of doors and colors to choose from. Most are modern but there are some more traditional looks, too.

          • I actually clicked through from the “recent comments” and thought this had to do with the earlier discussion about IKEA furniture. Their furniture is all the same modern style. Don’t know about the faucets.

  • I think it looks nice – better-than-average flip renovation. Regarding the price, the house next door to this house sold for $555K about 1-2 yrs ago. 727 Taylor St NW sold for $553,500 and as PoP mentioned, 723 Taylor is also under contract (I doubt they are getting $599K, but with so many other comps I’d bet around $550K). So the price is right.

    Regarding IKEA renovations, a lot of buyers actually like IKEA over the Home Depot options. I don’t think you can get a $100K discount for that 😉

    I think the best thing about this house is that it’s a 5 minute walk from the metro, the Farmer’s Market, the Yes, Qualia Coffee, Domku, etc. Right in the middle of the best part of Petwort – that’s why they are able to ask $500K+ for this house.

  • Love these couple of blocks. Couldn’t afford them when we bought, so we are further north. Agree it is likely a bit overpriced. I don’t see how this is a bubble property. This is a great location, near metro, in a quickly improving area. With that said, I see it going for high 400s-low 500s.

  • bfinpetworth

    Its a little tough to judge due to lack of basement pictures. its a small house with a rather odd floorplan (like, it looks like the kitchen extends through a doorway into the dining room?), but it looks nice and is pretty much in line with other recent sales in that area. The back yard has much potential.

  • Looks attractive, but overpriced.

    Like others, I think it’s odd to list the “Fully fin LL suite w/ W/D hookup” and then not have any photos of it.

  • I only see 3 bedrooms (including the basement one)… where’s the fourth?

    • Probably very small so not pictured. There are 2 full baths for 2 UL bedrooms, plus 1 full bath for the LL suite, plus 1 half bath on main level. The 4th bedroom probably functions more like an office or nursery.

  • I certainly hope it sells for 599K, although I would also argue it’s a bit high. That give me hope for my not-yet-renovated detached house within walking distance. I think the renovations to the local playgrounds, the price pressure in Columbia Heights, the new E.L. Haynes campus, the places opening along 11th (which is on the local bus line that heads up through this neighborhood) are all things pointing to increasing property values. Goooooooo Petworth!

  • I’d give them their price just for not putting that brown tile in the bathrooms that we always see in every virtual tour of a renovated house.

  • I think it might be a little high, but who knows? It definitely doesn’t look as cookie cutter as most flips and it has a great back yard.

    I am on year 2 of renovating my PW row house. It does suck up all your time, ALL of your money, and mine still looks like crap on the outside.

    One interesting trend that has been picking up speed on some of the econ/finance blogs is how the cost to buy vs. cost to rent is getting out of whack again. Except unlike 2005, it is now cheaper to buy than rent on a monthly basis (excluding costs of ownership).

  • A house on Illinois, just south of Shepherd (so about 3 blocks east of this property) just sold for $590k. It was a similar flip–the family residing in the house moved out and it was renovated and under contract within 8 weeks of that day. I think it initially listed at 605k.

    Similar situation–middle row unit, basement without front entrance, rear parking. It’s a little further from the metro, but the renovation looks to have been a bit nicer than the 700 block house going by the pictures.

  • I visited this open house, and I have to say, the layout does not seem awkward when you are walking through. They left the original footprint of the house (hence the doorway in the kitchen.. that’s a brick wall that used to be the rear exterior wall). The half bath on the first floor is teeny-tiny, but the “ikea” bathroom in the master has a base made from reclaimed joists from the demolition of the house- nice touch, if you ask me. The integration of the master bedroom and the sitting area is also something atypical (in a good way), as is the arrangement of the other two upstairs bedrooms. Its a thoughtful renovation and I hope it goes for asking price!

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