Good Deal or Not? “tray ceilings” (reader request)

This home is located at 1412 1st St, NW:

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The flier says:

“ATTENTION SAVVY HOMEBUYERS! THIS IS IT! Gorgeous renovation with all the bells and whistles. Exposed brick, solid hardwood floors, tray ceilings, recessed lights, granite/stainless kitchen, back patio AND PARKING TOO! Two full baths, plus half bath on 1st floor and patio too. 8 min walk to NY Ave Metro, 12 mins to Capitol, and Big Bear Cafe less than a latte away too!”

You can find more info here and a virtual tour here. Warning – the virtual tour made me sea sick.

This 2 bed/2.5 is going for $499,900.

23 Comment

  • Overly excited real estate ads WITH RANDOM CAPITALIZED CLAUSES drive me nuts. AND some exclamation points TOO!!! Don’t forget to stop looking! Because you’re never going to find anything better than this!!!!

  • BTW, the photos on the Redfin page (linked under “info here”) are the exact same ones as in the so-called virtual tour, but without the seasickness risk.


    (I don’t understand why anyone thinks that panning slightly up and slightly down on a still photograph is 1) a good thing or 2) is in any way more useful than the still version of the photo.)

  • Seems like a very standard reno, but doesn’t appear to be a flip as it last sold in 2007.

    It wouldn’t be in my top ten locations in DC to live though. Right in the middle of a cluster of social services and practically next to a high school. Not to mention 2 blocks from Big Ben’s!

    Not too expensive and has parking which is nice.

    Verdict: OK deal, but not good or bad.

  • What’s the deal with tray ceilings? They don’t seem to add anything in this renovation; if anything, they detract.

    I think the renovation we saw in yesterday’s GDoN (the one on New Hampshire Avenue) was much better.

    • My guess is that so many of these reno’s with tray ceilings are done to hide HVAC duct work. If I had to guess, most of these old homes had steam radiators. When you convert forced air (needed for central AC), you need to add ductwork and a tray ceiling is a more attractive way to hide it.

      • One minor addendum to your HVAC appraisal. While it is necessary to instal ducting for central AC, it is not necessary to convert your heating to forced air. We have central AC in our old row house, but still use the old oil-heating radiators for heat because forced air heat just doesn’t cut it.

    • Agreed — those tray ceilings are hideous. Too small and too many discrete compartments. More like TV-dinner-tray ceilings.

    • Hmm… the renovators could’ve added the HVAC ductwork and just lowered the whole ceiling (and put in recessed lights if they wanted).

      Maybe the tray ceilings came from a desire to keep (most of) the ceiling as high as possible… but in this particular case, the end result doesn’t look very good.

  • The pictures are strenched with a photshop-like software, look at wall pictures and computer monitor in the bedroom. I’m curious about the actucal size of the bedrooms.

  • last one got away from me

    The pictures are stretched with a Photoshop-like software, look at wall pictures and computer monitor in the bedroom. I’m curious about the actual size of the bedrooms.

  • Priced high for the number of bedrooms and location. Though, I really do like it.

    • It’s priced within about 2% of where it will sell. A semi detached two bedroom on the corner sold just above $500k. This is a pretty fair deal.

    • If somebody’s willing to pay for it, it’s worth that much.

      Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

      • Right, except you forgot about what I said about comparables. Things can be overpriced, which I believe this is. A very nice 3bd/2.5 bath just sold 2 weeks ago around the corner from this place for $489k. Thats 10k less for an extra half bath and an extra bedroom. A 3bdr/3ba house sold in april for 500 just 2 blocks away.

        I’m just not sure I see convincing justification for this price. But, as you note, if someone is willing to pay it, it is worth that much.

        I cant find Tres’ comparable, but there are ample examples of houses selling for less or for the same, but bigger houses.

        As I recall, you were making the argument that whole neighborhoods werent worth the amount that multiple people have been and show signs of continuing to pay for.

        • It’s the end unit on the northwest corner of the 1st + P intersection. Two beds, sold above asking in the very low $500k’s. I know this neighborhood very well and track the market. $500k is a fairly reasonable price, depending on the actual square footage/lot size here. It’s worth noting that the comp I speak of sold under $450k newly flipped less than two years ago. This is a rapidly appreciating neighborhood.

          You can’t always look at number of beds. 3 bedrooms are being flipped into 2 bedrooms to accommodate modern buyers’ sometime preference for two masters. Think DINKs. DINKs don’t need 3 bedrooms and have more money to spend.

  • austindc

    I would be concerned about the drowning hazard on the back patio.

  • at 385 psf, seems like a good deal to me.

  • “Building Information:
    Model: SOOOO CUTE!”

    No need to cater to the sorority crowd. Doubt they are looking for homes in that area, cute as it may be.

  • Went to the open house this weekend. I found the 3 tray ceilings in a row to look strange. One tray ceiling for the entire first floor space (or just one smaller pop-up over the living room) would be preferable. The 2nd bedroom is pretty small but the master is lovely.

  • Cute house but you need to be aware of this neighborhood before buying. Exactly 1 block away on 1st and Ost is a lot of drug dealing and it is also the location of S.O.M.E. and there is a huge number of homeless people and transients in that neighborhood. I almost brought in that neighborhood years ago and feel so grateful that I didn’t get to the house fast enough. Go north of RI and see if you can’t find a better neighborhood

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