GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 715 Newton Pl NW

Hipchickindc is a licensed real estate broker. Her latest business venture can be seen 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: 715 Newton Pl NW

Legal Subdivision: Columbia Heights
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Columbia Heights
Original List Price: $449,000.
List Price at Contract: $425,000.
List Date: 07/14/2011
Days on Market: 24

Settled Sales Price: $415,000.

Settlement Date: 09/12/2011
Seller Subsidy: $12,450.
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.

715 Newton Pl NW is a small but completely gut renovated home located less than a quarter mile from the Petworth Metro. Mapquest puts it just a smidge over half a mile to the Columbia Heights Metro and associated retail and restaurants. It is also in close proximity to the house we looked at last week as a Good Deal or Not Revisited (GDoN-R). Last week’s home, however, is significantly larger.

In the comments to the Good Deal or Not (GDoN) post, there was a discussion about comparing price per square foot and condos recently sold in the neighborhood. In a majority of cases, I don’t have any interest in looking at the price per square foot of a fee simple house, however, in this case, I consider this a true “condo alternative”. As the listing agent of 6 of the 14 recent sold condo comps in the past six months that are located within a quarter mile, I was also truly curious what the comparison looks like.

From a valuation standpoint, please note that what commenters mentioned is true. Appraisers can’t compare oranges to apples and thus don’t compare fee simple homes to condo ownership homes. From a reality perspective, however, as an agent I know that many buyers will consider condo options and fee simple options in a similar location and price range. It’s also easier to figure price per square footage in this case than in most fee simple houses because there is no basement. From the pics, it sure looks like the builder gutted and renovated every inch of this place, which is similar to what you’d expect in a brand new construction condo or conversion. The public record identifies 952 square feet of living space, so we’ll call the price per square foot at $422. (factoring in the subsidy paid at closing).

Continues after the jump.

The comps for houses in this immediate location from within the past six months are all over the place due to the range of size and condition. The condos that I recently listed nearby include this one bedroom with deeded parking located ½ block to the Metro. It was a decent fully renovated recent conversion and the price per square foot was $466. A few blocks to the east, I recently listed all five units at Redstone, which is ground up new construction, all 950 square foot two bedroom, 2 bath units, with a common bike room and individual storage unit for each unit, as well as limited common element parking for all but one of the units. The average square footage price considering subsidies was $359.

Perhaps this more confusing than less, however, what I see is that for $63/square foot more, the purchaser of the house got duplex living (a preference for some), a small third den or guest room, a full deck, an additional half bath, plus no condo fee. The compromise really is in the use of the space such that the condos are on one level (so they lose no space to stairs) and have bedrooms that fit a queen size bed, but with a smaller common living area.

And that one bedroom condo at $466/sq foot? Smaller units tend to have higher prices per square feet. The overall price of net $280,000, however, made it an affordable buy half a block to Metro.

12 Comment

  • I recently got a similar size place just blocks down the road for $300 a sq ft. Comes with parking, low condo fee, duplex, and all new rehabbed unit. Either i got a really good deal or your listing is too high.

    • Are you talking about the Redstone listings? A few blocks down the road could = further from Metro, and thus the price differential.

      • no, down by irving. That’s quite a price difference for being just a few blocks farther away from metro. I’m only 4 blox from CoHi metro, plus about 4 bus lines at my doorstep in all directions.

    • IMHO, this is an area where there are still deals to be had if you really dig in, look, have patience and are ready to move when the opportunity presents itself.

      It’s not an area that LOOKS fancy, but it is pretty close to some very fancy things.

      I got a semi-renovated totally livable small row house between Sherman and Georgia last year for $285 a SF.

      So I agree with you that it’s possible. You probably got a good deal. Congratulations.

      • True, you literally step across Sherman and get $50 knocked off your price, then go east of GA and the same thing happens…so close to everything. Only 2 blocks from 11th street action and a METRO! It’s a great (and often overlooked) area. Prices are now trending upwards on the 700 block so going to have to look harder to find deals like this

      • oops $50k

  • I don’t have a whole lot to add, but wanted to thank hipchickindc for doing these, I always get a lot out of them.

  • I toured this place. The 1st floor kitchen/dining room is awesome! But the second floor small bedrooms are sufficient only as nurseries at best. And the master bedroom is across from a new building going up so probably a little loud.

  • Great post.

    For someone who has/is planning on two kids or more, the extra expense per sq/ft is really nothing. Paying an extra $80 – 100k (or whatever it was) works out to only slightly more per month after factoring in condo fees (whatever they were). You’re in the range of a $200 or $300 differential, maybe. That’s not much for the advantage of functional bedroom number three, however small it might be.

    If you’re a DINKy couple, you knock down a wall, add French doors to the deck. I think this would still be worth $415k with that kind of reno — just may not sell quite as quick. I think 3 bedrooms attract more couples, who tend to be (collectively) more strongly situated buyers, i.e., closers.

Comments are closed.