Good Deal or Not? “impeccable attention to detail” edition (reader request)

This home is located at 4604 Iowa Ave, NW:

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The flier says:

“Enjoy the impeccable attention to detail in this gorgeous end unit row house. Recent renovations of the LL w/ rentable au pair suite, a sunrm/bfast rm, a renovated KT, a large custom closet/dressing area off the MBR. Exquisite features include original woodwork, custom- made radiator cover & stunning wood floors throughout & an exposed brick wall. Spectacular fenced yd w/ patio.”

You can find more info here and a mouse on house tour here.

This 4 bed/2 bath is going for $590,000.

40 Comment

  • Egads! What were they smoking when they decorated that place?

    • Too much gold in the decor, but I don’t think it’s that bad (and most of the stuff is removable — draperies, etc.)

  • Seems like a stone cold deal to me.

  • Not really made for practical living — fridge isn’t even in the kitchen, it’s in the “nook”; one bathroom upstairs; and not sure if the basement is built to rent out, but the only washer/dryer unit is in the basement. Would be weird to share with tenants.

    • I’m thinking it’s not meant to be an apartment – there’s still a staircase connecting to the upstairs, and no stove or oven in the kitchenette. More like an inlaw suite.

      • Right, but the real estate agent had written it up as “rentable au pair suite.”

        It’s definitely an au pair/in-law suite rather than a basement apartment (legal or otherwise), but it’s not set up particularly well to be a “rentable” suite.

        I didn’t notice that there wasn’t a stove… was assuming that it was blocked from view by the cabinetry, but maybe there’s no stove period. (In which case calling the suite “rentable” is an even bigger stretch.)

        • Oops, didn’t see that. Yeah, it doesn’t look rentable (legally) the way it’s set up now. The realtor should probably fix that!

        • That said, it’s always legal to have a roommate who sleeps in the basement, obviously. But that’s what you’d have to do here.

  • Basement is so odd – why such a modern bathroom, but the rest of the space is terrible

  • This looks nice to me.

    I think it’s a bit overpriced considering:

    – the distance to the Metro,
    – the size of the smallest of the three upstairs bedrooms (the one shown with a crib and some other stuff crammed into it), and
    – the fact that the “au pair suite” isn’t really rentable unless the owners are willing to go outside and enter the laundry room from the outside — otherwise, they’d have to tromp through the renter’s kitchen and living room.

    The placement of the fridge seems inconvenient in relation to the rest of the kitchen, and there’s too much exposed brick for my liking (kitchen, stairway). I’m not keen on the pattern for the floor in the kitchen, or on the vessel sinks in the bathroom.

    I like the parquet floors, and the upstairs wood floors. I also like how the tiny original closet in the master bedroom has been supplemented by turning the upstairs sunroom into a walk-in closet… although it seems that the master bedroom itself must not get all that much light as a result, meaning that its south-facing orientation is being somewhat wasted.

    The patio and side yard look very nice.

    • I would put a vessel sink in to a hall bath or guest bath that was rarely used but not a daily use type of thing. I lived in a new house during college that had a vessel sink and I did not enjoy it.

    • I think the walk-in is more southwest than south – but agreed that it would cut down on light into the room.

      • True re. more SW than S.

        Usually the front bedroom is the master bedroom, except in houses that face south where often people have configured a back bedroom as a master bedroom. I was assuming that this was the case here… but thought that turning the enclosed sunroom into a walk-in closet kind of defeated the purpose of having the master bedroom in the back.

        (On the other hand, I guess it wouldn’t really have been possible to rig up a big closet for the bedroom in front, unless you took the baby’s room and turned it into a walk-in closet.)

  • I really like it.

    Not sure if this location commands almost 600k. The high 500s gets you into other neighborhoods, so the competition at this price point is pretty fierce and buyers can be picky.

  • Wow, 590k? The place isn’t particularly large, doesn’t have anything that resembles a unit that could get a C.O. downstairs, and isn’t close to anything aside from Rock Creek Park. The yard and end unit are nice intangibles, but not worth that much money. I want to see them get it, but I sure as heck wouldn’t pay it.

  • That is a pretty good price for this neighborhood. Its not close to a metro but its close to some major bus lines and is a nice, safe, quiet neighborhood with a lot of renovated beautiful old homes that often go for $650 and well on up. I think this neighborhood provides one of the best values in the city and would consider buying there if on the market.

  • If I were in the market I would make an offer. I actually like the fridge in the “nook”, it really looks like a pantry to me, so it would make sense to have the fridge there.

    May be a little overpriced, but you come in with a lower offer.

    LOVE that yard and patio, and I also like the pass through between the dining room and kitchen.

  • nice place.

    you guys have to remember, while further from the metro, 16th st heights is a nicer neighborhood than Petworth.

  • That’s a great neighborhood and close to Upshur, an easy walk to 14th to catch the bus down to CH or to Ga Ave to catch the bus to Petworth. I don’t like all the finishes, but most of the original wood is intact and in good shape, which is a big deal in my book. It also has a great yard and very nice outdoor space. It may be a tad high, but not by much. I also like the way the basement is laid out and would consider doing mine much the same way. I don’t want to rent it out, but I like to have the space for guests and ornery teenagers.

    • Original wood work is over rated. Replacing the original with new wood with similar look, will look nicer but it is very expensive.

      • It depends. If you keep the original and plan to paint it, you can fill the holes and it looks fine. The original wood in my house needs a lot of work and is not painted. So I either patch holes and paint or replace. And mostly, I think I intend to say that I prefer having woodwork in the original style versus tearing it out and replacing it with uninteresting wood or vinyl trim or no trim or having an open floorplan. So i don’t totally disagree with you.

        • You can get trim that is identical to what is in your house, it just costs money. That was my point.

          Go to Smoots or Hugheley

  • I really like this place. The detail work is beautiful. Sure a couple of the rooms would need to be reconfigured (mostly the kitchen), but in general this place has been kept up nicely and would be comfortable to live in.

  • That’s maybe a 12-minute walk to the metro. I don’t think that’s far.

    • YES. Thank you. I’ve lived all over the city (except for Southwest), and a 12-minute walk ain’t far, especially since you pay as much for slightly smaller and less well-maintained rowhouse in that area that might be closer to Metro.

  • We live in the neighborhood and we stopped by their open house this past weekend. The house has some features that you can’t add on to a house that make it quite unique… the original wood floors and never-painted moldings in every room; a big beautfiful yard with a nice patio and deck; a very nice flow between the kitchen, DR, LR and sunroom; exposed brick; and the dressing room/large closet off the bedroom is custom designed and a really nice bonus.

    The kitchen is actually laid out nicely; in addition to a pretty normal sized kitchen there is a nice pantry area with lots of cabinetry, and the kitchen is open and bright. The basement seems to be rentable because it has two egresses. Bedroom downstairs recently renovated with the bathroom and is bright and nice. If you rented out the basement, there is a door between the laundry room and the apartment so that it can be shared. Alternatively, it’s a nice guest space.

    Their furniture and paint colors reflect their style but that’s changeable. You could also add a powder room on the main floor, but we don’t have one in our house and we manage just fine with two full baths. They also have beautiful custom built radiator covers over almost every radiator, which look like furniture and stay with the house.

    We love the neighborhood and this house is two blocks from the renovated park and library, and the pool. Lots of young couples and families moving in.

    • Even if the basement has two egresses, are the owners really going to want to have to go outside (even if only briefly) to do their laundry? I wouldn’t if it were me.

      It probably would have made more sense to put a washer and dryer for the owners in the nook next to the kitchen, and then a renter could have the entire downstairs.

  • I think it looks like a great house – pretty large for the neighborhood (wider than typical rowhouse), and end unit, and some cool unique features (great hardwood floors in LR, unpainted wood trim). I personally like a more unusual house that wasn’t a gut renovation and keeps some of the older features. Price-wise it may be a bit high but not by much.

    As for comments that this is a better area than Petworth…I think that may be based on old perceptions. On many blocks I think the neighborhood gets nicer the further east you go, not the other way around. East of Georgia Ave is definitely the way to go. But no worries, in Petworth we’re happy to pay less to live in a great neighborhood…

  • Some of the comments to this post strike me as neighborhood bias. If this house was in Dupont or Logan, people would be saying the finishes and exposed brick are lovely! Anyway, I like this house for what it is and think the price is right on the money.

    For once, we see a renovated house that still maintains it’s original charm. I’m not a fan of the blow out/open floor plan and I commend the owner for not taking it there. Practically speaking, the kitchen reno is done well, and considering that it was a galley kitchen originally, they’ve played well with the space. More could’ve been done but not everyone has the patience to knock down walls, move headers, sister joists, all for an open kitchen.

    And by the way, the basement IS a legal rental because you can register with DCRA to rent a room in your home…how that plays into any income you’d get from renting a room verses a self-contained unit is debatable; but in my opinion, it wouldn’t lower the value of the home.

    The only thing I’d ding them on is not extending the upstairs bathroom into the “dressing room” and putting in upstairs laundry in that space. I know it sounds easy, but busting out the brick wall and putting in a lintel is no easy project.

    Okay I’m done. Let me get back to my own renovations…

  • Price seems spot on to me. 16th St Heights is a great neighborhood to be in. The Target/Best Buy, dog park and kids park nearby are great additions. Not to mention the house has charm in abundance. I absolutely love the original wood floors and the sunroom off the dining room. Kitchen has a nice Italian look to it, although appliances could be updated, but thats no big deal. What really separates this house from the many others I regularly check out around here is the yard and patio area. To have all that, in the city, makes this house a good deal in my book.

  • I personally love the wood floors and all of the details (the kitchen counters look awesome)– it seems like this house would have a lot of character. And the bathrooms look great. In old row houses, the bathrooms can be really dark and dingy, these look clean and bright.

    I think this is a great location. Not a bad walk to the metro, 1 block from 14th street buses, and minutes from Rock Creek Parkway.

  • That lot is off the chain. House is very nice.

  • I totally would put in an offer on this place if I hadn’t just bought….

  • I walked through this house and I love the exposed brick and the yard is dynamite too. The house has a nice openness to it. I really like how many of the finishes have beautiful detail to them. This is literally two blocks from new dog park and kid’s playground and one block to 16th street bus line. You can walk to Columbia Heights metro but about 20 minutes. Seems like the street is quiet and nice that front looks to church. I like this place and the price does not seem nuts to me at all (we have been looking in this neighborhood for several months and they is priced right compared to what we have seen.)

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