Good Deal or Not? ”Meticulously maintained mid-cenutry modern” edition


michael k. wilkinson, photographs

This house is located at 4026 Arkansas Ave, NW:


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The flier says:

“Meticulously maintained mid-cenutry modern across the street from Rock Creek Park with 3 bedrooms/3 baths, in-law suite, oak floors, CAC, & off-street parking. Updated kitchen & baths, sunny & spacious. Convenient location just off of 16th Street. Why buy a condo when you could have a house? and no monthly fee. Freshly painted and ready to move right into.”

You can find more info here and a virtual tour here.

Thanks to Michael for the heads up and the photos. This is one of my favorite blocks in the city. While I wish it was a bit closer walking distance to restaurants, I’ll just say it – if I were looking I’d buy this one in a heartbeat. What do you think – $439,000 sound right for this 3 bed/3 bath?

41 Comment

  • I think it looks a little weird to have one stark white painted house in the middle of an unpainted block…

  • I think it just looks a little weird.

  • No thanks. Super awkward layout, especially the kitchen (and loving that green countertop!). Low ceilings and cramped bathrooms. Not even sure a full gut is possible based on the exterior’s construction.

    What posessed builders to construct crap like this? Ideally this whole strip would be razed.

    • Actually, this whole strip represents a unique and valuable moment in pseudo-Art Deco residential architecture. It maybe not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think razing the entire block might be just a bit rash.

    • Actually, the first house on this strip is the size of at least 3 of the others, and from what can seen inside from the street, the place is awesome.

      • That house is approximately the same size as the others, it’s just turned sideways because it’s at the end of the row where the lots are not as big. This takes advantage of the sliver at the end of what is essentially a block shaped like an orange slice (narrow at the ends, bigger in the middle).

        That house is definitely incredibly cool.

    • They have style something you must be unaware of. Unfortunately the realtor did not hire a good photographer and should have removed the furniture. There have been some great renovations despite the construction.

  • Especially since it has a basement apartment, I’d say this is a great deal.

    My aesthetic sensibility is that the bathrooms and kitchen all need to be renovated. But, they’re certainly all nice enough and appear functional.

  • I love this neighborhood and would eventually like to buy a place a couple blocks north however I’ve always thought these houses are some of the most awkward eyesores in the city.

  • Wow, I never though *I* would be speaking up in defense of mid-century modern. So while I personally don’t find it particularly appealing, having a variety of architecture in our city is what makes it so interesting, and there’s lots of people out there these days who love the mid century style.

    My main gripe with the house is that the kitchen doesn’t fit with the mid-c-mod style at all (for the same reasons why I dislike super-modern kitchens in late 19th/early 20th century rowhouses). But even as is, seems like a good deal.

  • binpetworth

    I salivate over these houses every time I walk by them, so imagine my disappointment when I actually looked at the photos. Can’t tell whether it’s just the ugly furniture or an awkward layout that’s jarring me (I was expecting a lot more openness). That said, I do think the price is very reasonable given the size and location.

    • Indeed, because of the poor choices in furniture, the house doesn’t show well in these photographs. But to judge these houses on that criteria alone… well, you are doing yourself and and the houses a serious disservice.
      The houses have an open plan and airiness that surpasses the usual dark airless layouts of the anonymous 1920s rowhouses that dominate Petworth.
      Come to the open house on Sunday and see for yourself!

  • At 439, in this neighborhood for an updated rowhouse with a seperate in-law suite, I would say great deal.

  • I thought it was hideous at first glance, but I actually kind of liked it… and for the price you can’t get much better (sadly)

  • More thoughtful staging would have helped. Remove all the rugs to show off the hardwoods, remove some of the clutter and excess furniture and this place would show a lot better. It needs work/updating, but seems like a decent deal.

    • The house on the end is turned on it’s side is is just slightly bigger. The realtor hired the wrong photographer and would have been better off removing all the furniture. A house with style where all the style was removed. It actually is a very good price. The photos do not do it justice.

  • Since I was a kid I’ve loved this strip of Arkansas Ave…

  • I have loved this strip of houses since I moved here in 1999. I would buy this in a second if I could.

  • These houses are beyond ugly from the outside, but the photos of the inside show some promise. Considering the location and the fact that the kitchen needs a lot of work, I’d say the place is overpriced. But if someone will pay it, then go for it.

    • Unfortunately all the style was covered up. These houses are very cool and as for the price it will have many offers.

  • A friend of ours bought on this block a few years ago and we love the houses, they are more open then the pictures depict. The inlaw suite is on the first floor, hence the small bathroom and kitchen on the first floor. This house would probably show better if it had no furniture or rugs since they all look so dated (or suburban).

    This is a good deal, our friends paid quite a bit more for a house that needed a lot of work.

  • I have always admired the one on the corner where it looks like the owners bought two of these houses and combined them. I would love to get a look inside that one.

  • andy

    I think it’s a nice location (near my house, so naturally) and quite close to Piney Branch Park. I also like that they are kind of on a hill and separated from street traffic. And those homes are also quite close to Upshur Park and Crestwood.

    But I have never been a fan of that house style, and unless you really prefer it to something Wardmanesque, wait for another rowhouse to come up for sale nearby.

  • I pass these twice every day and they’ve grown on me. The most offensive thing to me is the kitchen. Without changing the existing footprint, I’d change the double sink to a single 24″, move the stove onto the sink wall, add a dishwasher (!), and do some shallow floor-to-ceiling pantries along the bare wall.

    • Yeah, the stove looks very awkward and out of place, as does the mostly bare wall with some cabinetry at the top.

  • I think this place has a lot of potential and wouldn’t need a ton of money to fix some things up (like knocking down that awkward kitchen wall and opening it up to the dining room?). Fair deal.

  • I much prefer these houses to the same old, same old that you see in DC. Yeah, it needs a little cosmetic updating, but nothing too onerous. I think it’s a great deal.

  • This house is a GREAT deal, IMHO. It’s right across the street from RC Park, half a block down from 16th St., walkable/bus-able to everything, fairly safe area. I agree some of the layout is awkward, but I like the living room. And for under $450K for that location with that much house? With an in-law suite? Take it! This is just a little bit more than that 11th St. condo from the other day.

  • Maybe for less than $400K, but knowing DC realty prices is a crapshoot.

    I didn’t know “mid-century” also meant mid-century furnishings and finishes…

  • the furniture is hard to look past and the backyard would need to be totally dug up and redone, but I want want WANT this house!!

  • Unequivocally a great deal. Check the comps.

  • Considering that i paid $460k for my fixer-upper row house 1 block from the Petworth Metro Station in 2007, I think that this is a super duper deal. Whereas I have dope fiends across from my window, this home has an unobstructed view of Rock Creek Park. Sure, the layout is quirky but so too are many of the layouts in 3bd row homes (i.e. at least one pygmy room upstairs) I am just plain jealous of the buyers to be.

  • I live in the row and the neighborhood is Columbia Heights the last street.

  • I just went to the open house, and think this is a good price for the right people. Compare it to condos, not houses, and it’s a bargain. The in-law suite is tiny and very low ceiling – not more than 7 feet but would rent happily to hobbits for $6-700.00/month. The main floor is spacious and open, kitchen is small but workable. 2 of the upstairs bedrooms are small. It feels dated, but not really in a bad way, if you can live with cottage-cheese ceilings. But everything looked in good shape. No back yard at all, but nice front yard, and of course Rock Creek park a block away. Super location. Will be interested to see how this turns out.

  • Yuck!! Hate those ceilings and finishes are all low quality like fixtures, bathroom mirror, kitchen, etc.. I also don’t like those wood floors. This would have to be a total gut job for me, thus the price too high. Plus the neighborhood is super inconvenient.

  • Under contract, someone got a good deal!

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