Good Deal or Not? “wall of glass looking to patio” edition

This house is located at 523 F St, NE:

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The flier says:

“Stately Federal Rowhouse, fully renovated, 3 bd/2.5 ba, 3 above ground levels – ea w/ light-filled bay windows, eat-in kitchen w/ granite, maple cabinets & wall of glass looking to patio, HW flrs, CAC, 3 Fps, spacious master w/ ample closets & large bath w/ jacuzzi tub & sep shower, close to ALL w/ EZ street parking or turn patio into parking (86 walk score, 98 transit score).”

You can find more info here and photos here.

This 3 bed/2.5 bath is going for $729,000.

20 Comment

  • Despite the atrocious staging, it’s a really nice looking place. At least cosmetically, it loks great, though whether what lies beneath the cosmetics is a quality job is an open question.

    Regardless, I personally wouldn’t pay that much to leave in that area. For that money, you could live in a nicer neighborhood in NW with parking, good schools, next to the red line (that’s not necessarily good), more green space, etc.

    But, as far as walkability and metro access, this location is quite good, and though I’d be surprised if it gets 729K, it may get close to that.

  • My guess is it will net a little less than $700K. The reno is decent and the location is good. It seems to me the biggest obstacle is now going to be finding first time buyers that can afford to put enough down to get under the jumbo loan limit. I’d be curious to hear more from people in the field of real estate what affect the changes have had on the local market.

    • If it goes for $700K with a 20% Down, then it would be 140 down with $560K on the loan, that would be below the limit of $625K.

      I read an article that says they are trying to set the limit back to the old $729 as it has tended to limit the pool of buyers in the $700K to $1M range.

      I would imagine only those upper middle class or higher can afford the new limit.

      • Yes…but you ignore the fact that most people don’t put down 20% on their homes…especially first time home buyers. I think I read the average is closer to 5%…which would be about $35k down, making the loan amount $665k.

        • If banks required a 20% down payment, then real estate prices would not have bubbled, banks would be better capitalized, loans less risky, and this entire economic mess we are in would not have happened.

          It still baffles me that banks will give loans where buyers put as little as 5% down.

          • Providing loans to well qualified purchasers with little down payment had little to do with the ’08 meltdown because those people are statistically very unlikely to default on their loans. The bigger issue was giving loans to risky applicants, i.e. those with sub 600 credit scores.

        • We put down 20% on our first home, which was $775k. But we were lucky because we were able to get below-market rent in the suburbs for three years prior to that, so it was easier to save.

          • Oh, I should also add that putting down less than 20% is simply not an option for a first-time homebuyer these days, unless you do FHA (believe me, we tried!).

  • In my opinion this is a great house in a great neighborhood. I would like parking, but sometimes you can’t have it all. I think it will get asking.

    And this place is next to the red line!

  • I think they will get about asking.

    This goes to show you that different people prefer different neighborhoods, because I would rather live here than in most comparably priced neighborhoods in NW. There’s usually easy street parking in this neighborhood, if we’re talking public schools (when it comes to “good schools”) there are decent ones in the area, this is also right by the red line, I think Stanton Park and Lincoln Park are both lovely, and this neighborhood is good for both public transit commuters (being close to the metro and several bus lines) and those who have to drive outside of the city for work. There are many other things I like about this area, as well-there are a lot of young families, there is a good mix of people, there are good restaurants and bars nearby. Obviously it’s not possible to objectively say this area is better (or worse) than similarly priced neigborhoods in NW, but I think this area has a lot going for it.

    As for the house itself, a lot of the fixtures, etc. aren’t what I would have chosen, but again, it’s a matter of taste.

  • I agree that it will go close to asking, but I don’t think I have ever found a neighborhood in DC that actually had “easy street parking.” That’s just what realtors say. I also think that it might take a little while to go near asking because, at that price, most buyers would expect a spot (and own a car).

    • I live in this neighborhood (albeit a few blocks east) and in the past two years have had to park more than a block from my house a total of about five times. And I’ve never had to park more than five blocks away. You may not always be right in front of your house, but it really is pretty easy to find parking here. I think it may have to do with the fact that there are several schools in the neighborhood. Even though parking is not always permitted in front of the schools, there is street parking on the other sides and there are fewer houses to compete for the available parking because of the schools. This is also far enough away from the majority of the bars and restaurants on H St. that you don’t get people going out on H wanting to park here. It sounds like realtor speak, but I swear, street parking is relatively easy to come by in this neighborhood.

      • Yeah…parking at this house would not be a problem. Unless you live between 10th and 14th, parking is pretty easy in this area. Of course, things could change in the coming years when the West end of H starts filling in with new businesses….but that’s a way’s off.

  • This place has great bones…but is marred by some pretty hideous design choices (in my opinion). It’s unfortunate, because the house appears to have been relatively recently renovated…but were I to buy it, I’d still feel the need to do make some pretty drastic changes. The wood cabinets in the kitchen are way too similar to the floors…not a fan of the black granite countertops…and that master bathroom looks like something from a porn set. The real problem is that the house’s asking price (justifiably) is that of a house that has been recently renovated. So…I’m not sure you’d end up building much equity by making the sort of changes I mentioned above. (obviously…it is never a given that cosmetic changes will add much in the way of appreciable value).

    In other words…this house is a great deal if you are comfortable with its current aesthetics.

    The house has SO much potential, though. Great bones in what I consider to be my favorite part of DC to live.

    just my rambling thoughts…

  • Nothing at all to do w/ good deal or not, it’s just so darn blue!

  • I like that the fireplaces at least fit with the design of the house… I feel like we’ve seen a bunch of GDoN posts recently where traditional rowhouses were outfitted with ultra-modern fireplaces.

    I’m wondering how accurate the listing’s claim is that the patio can be turned into parking. It would presumably involve re-grading part of the patio (which I imagine is doable)… but at least in the photos, the alley that the (fenced) patio backs onto looks really narrow. I don’t see much room to maneuver a car into a backyard parking space.

    • I have a similar setup down by Eastern Market. While I’ve manuevered my small car into the backyard before, it’s certainly a tight squeeze and a difficult thing to do. Besides, it would be a shame to give up the backyard space, especially since the street parking in Capitol Hill is so plentiful.

  • We paid $45k more for a very similar house last winter. The only differences are that our house is less contemporary and open inside (they kept a lot of the gorgeous original features intact), and it’s a block from Eastern Market. So I don’t think this is a good deal. Most of the nicer places we saw around Union Station/Stanton Park were in the $600’s, and I don’t think prices have gone up that much since then.

  • House wasn’t great — very little living room space, no dining room, and weird design choices. Needs a big remodel.

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