(Was it a) Good Deal or Not? “versatile layout” edition

This home is located at 1480 Harvard St, NW:

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The flier says:

“Welcome to this grand brick end-unit townhome built in the Wardman style less than 2 blocks from Columbia H. metro and shopping! W/ 3,000 sq. ft. this versatile layout could be finished in its current configuration as a spacious 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, w/ a walk-out basement & a detached one-car garage. The possibilities are fantastic, and the location can not be beat. .. Welcome and enjoy!!”

You can find more info here and photos here.

This 4 bed/2.5 bath went under contract in only 4 days. Asking was $549,000. Do you think it was bid up?

14 Comment

  • definitely needs a few 100k more, but a high-end, big end unit in that location could probably push the seven figure mark by springtime

  • Wow — I think that’s the most complete set of photos I’ve ever seen for a house in that shape (missing sinks, missing appliances, partially gutted walls/flooring, etc.).

    There’s so much work that needs to be done that this looks to me like a good candidate for being turned into condos — I’d think this would be outside of the realm of possibility for a single-family home.

    If they do turn it into condos, I hope they manage to keep the bedroom wood flooring with the patterned border. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The huge mirror in the foyer is also pretty cool.

    Very strange… the presence of items of furniture makes it look like people were living there until recently, but it looks like a place that would be impossible to live in (everything ripped out of the upstairs kitchen, etc.).

    • With “outside of the realm of possibility for a single-family home”… I should clarify that I was thinking that even though renovating this house as a single-family home would probably doable for an investor, an investor would probably find turning it into condos more profitable.

    • I was wondering the same thing…it looks as if it were sort of recently lived in and either something happened (e.g., flooding or something else awful) and so parts of the home had to be stripped down to the bones or they started to re-hab the place and realized it was a lot more than cosmetic or discovered something bigger (maybe structural) and decided it was too much to bear and thought they’d do better if they could sell it? Probably going to a developer, who will turn it into condos or rentals.

  • Agree that it was likely bought by an investor with a good chance of being turned into condos.

  • So what was the actual price at contract? how else do we know if it was bid up or not?

    • Wait until next month’s feature of Good Deal or Not Revisited… or wait until next month’s home and condo sales report, which I believe comes out on the 6th of every month on PoP?

    • The agreed-upon price at contract usually isn’t revealed until the purchase has successfully gone through closing.

      I’m assuming this is so that if the contract falls through, the seller isn’t disadvantaged by a prospective buyer knowing what price a previous buyer candidate was able to get the seller to agree to.

  • Wow, that’s a blast from the past. In the early 90s (92?) when my Mt. P group house was breaking up, one of my roommates moved into this house. He was living there rent-free while the owners were away in Europe for a year or two. He was a carpenter and was supposed to be fixing the place up while he lived there. Obviously, he didn’t get much done. I think at that time he was also going into a depression. The house looked pretty much like it did in these photos, but he was doing some work there.

    One thing I remember, though, was the neighbor next door had a bunch of pit bulls or Rottis (can’t remember) and would just toss their poop over the fence into this yard.

    I’m pretty surprised that this place has just sat there in THAT condition for 20 years.

  • This block was featured in the original 1951 movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still” – the boarding house that Klaatu goes to is at 1412 Harvard St NW, just a few doors down from this house. I still think this was probably one of the best DC movies of all time!

  • Those interested in flipping the property could probably do a decent (i.e. good enough to sell) cosmetic overhaul for about $75k-$100k without addressing some of the potential structural issues. I’d imagine a good contractor could cover up some of the big problems just enough to get through the inspection process without spending too much money, then let the eventual buyers deal with the headaches.

  • T

    Wow — what potential!

    From my recent experience doing a gut renovation, a buyer looking to turn this into a nice single family home is probably looking at about $200k. That said, once it’s fixed up, it would almost certainly be worth $750k+. 203k rehab loan, anyone?

  • Looks like a real fixer-upper

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