Good Deal or Not? “all the bells & whistles” edition

This home is located at 3615 New Hampshire Ave, NW:

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The flier says:

“Another Superb Renovation by Nantucket Holdings. This spacious home features a stunning open floor plan w/ all the bells & whistles. New oak hrdwd flrs, tray ceilings, gourmet kitchen w Granite & SS appls, baths w / marble, Finished bsmt/ FML room w / wet bar, extra b/r or den, tons of closet space, Walk up Attic, all new systems, security sys, deck, deep yard, secured parking w / garage door.”

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

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $639,500.

32 Comment

  • T

    Looks like they did a nice job. Amazing how quickly this area is changing…

    I’d be interested in knowing the ceiling height in the basement — looks like it’s probably just under 7 ft?

  • bfinpetworth

    Nice looking place, nice finishes. A couple downsides:

    The floorplan is a bit odd although workable. The half-width bumpout in the back is unfortunate – a full bumpout would provid a much roomier feel to the kitchen/dr area.

    Location – NH Ave. not ideal, but many people seem to deal with it just fine. But it would be a negative in price comps.

    The W/D in basement essentially renders the basement apt an in-law apt, rather than a rentable apt.. That may work for many people but again, by adding a w/d to the upper floor, you could rent the lower level.

    Backyard is functional with the parking pad and overhead door but gosh, couldn’t it have been made a little prettier??? Like permeable pavers rather than that concrete slab?

    Overall I think the price is a little high but it may very well fetch that amount. Its a very lovely house inside and has a solid quality look and feel.

    • I think there is a W/D upstairs as well. But the basement doesn’t have a full kitchen, so that may also mark it as in-law rather than rental.

  • The front porch and front door and stairs are nice. What is that ghastly vinyl box with no window on the back of the house? Oh, the sunporch converted to a low-end, no natural light master bath that should have a window. It looks atrocious from the back. And the front of the basement is nice, but the back door opens into the bedroom? No thanks. Looks like a mostly quick, cheap reno to me. Not worth $640K.

  • I thnk it will go for close to asking. renovation is nice, includes parking, easy walk to metro and great basement finishes. Don’t know if it could be a legal rental but with two entrances, it could still be some kind of rental if the owner wanted to risk it. This area is great. We moved here (parkview) after we got priced out of COlumbia Heights last year. I think in another few years this area will be very family friendly (and hopefully the schools will improve).

  • It looks like they did a decent job, but I wouldn’t consider it in a million years. For $640K, you can buy a nice place in a better part of town.

    Plus, did anyone else notice that they added the low-roof finished attic space (which is nice) but have one (maybe two?) tiny forced air vents? That space will be 100+ degrees come July with no ventilation. Plus, I bet there’s cheap insulation under the roof, and now way it could be more than a few inches thick.

  • Looks good overall to me.

    I don’t like the tray ceilings in the LR/DR, and having the heat pump (?) blocking one of the windows in the basement bedroom seems like a poor choice. As Soozles noted, the bumpout in the back isn’t very attractive… but maybe there was a bumpout pre-renovation. They do seem to have made good use of the interior of the bumpout, even if it doesn’t look so great from the outside.

    I’m assuming that the basement couldn’t readily have been a “legal” rental because of the ceiling height, but given that it has a front and back entrance, I’m surprised the builder didn’t put in a full-scale kitchen (even if a small one) to make it a more easily rentable basement apartment. It looks like there’s room for a full-size fridge; I’m just surprised it wasn’t in there from the beginning.

    Like BFinPetworth, I’m surprised the builder didn’t try to pretty up the backyard a bit more, like with potted plants or something.

    I think this looks pretty good, and I will be very interested to see what it ends up being sold for.

  • Balls:
    where else in DC could you get that much renovated house for the price, so close to metro and an legitimately up and coming commercial district on GA avenue? I am not being snarky, but really curious. I supposed further up maybe in the brightwood area off GA ave but you have no metro and that commercial area is way behind the Petworth area. Anything on the other side of the park is way more than 600k. Same for columbia Heights, Cap Hill etc. Fort Totten is way worse than this area but yes, you could get a whole house for probably 400k or less. Crestwood is way more than 600k also. maybe Brookland?

    • At $396 per sq/ft you can buy a pretty nice place (recently updated) in Brookland, DC Takoma, Hill East, even some parts of the Hill proper and even Foggy Bottom. It just all kind of depends on which “border” neighborhood you prefer. Some like Petwort, some want to be elsewhere. But I agree that at $639 you’re getting close to the “established” neighborhood territory.

  • As a basement dweller I think they went a bit overboard on that basement area. With the wine rack and wine fridge the owner really wont be able to rent it out.

  • I went to the open house yesterday and live close by. A few confusions amongst the commenters here: there is an existing stackable washer-dryer upstairs; the realtor said they couldn’t do the full bumpout due to Pepco; master bath has a skylight (as well as second bath upstairs and upstairs hallway. I’m also not a fan of no windows in the master bath, but it does get natural light. The reno is much better than most flipped-properties, but not as nice as someone who has the job done to their own home. The oddest thing is the half-bath directly in the middle of the kitchen. It isn’t meant to be a rentable basement, without some reno work first. The stairwell from 1st floor to basement is open and offers no privacy. Everything is fixable for little money, though, to make it rentable.

    I hope it goes for asking (as I said, I live near by) but think it will go for below. I imagine upper 500’s, but I’ll treat myself to some bubbly if they get over 600.

  • I think this reno is decent, boring but not offensive in any major way. Glad they have original stair railing. But mostly I hope they get near asking because I live nearby.

  • So I think it looks like a nice house, but can anyone explain to me why it’s $150,000 more than this house?
    (or other examples like it)

    • 222 Varnum is much further from the Metro, has one less bedroom, appears to have a completely open basement with no room divisions, has carpeting in the bedrooms, has unattractive finishes in some of the bathrooms (IMO), and lacks a parking area with a rollup gate.

      Not sure if that accounts for all $150K, but I think that covers a lot of it.

      • Interesting, thanks. A lot of things I didn’t consider, but I do think a lot of them are cosmetic/minor. The 4th BR on the New Hampshire house I’m guessing is in the basement, so I’m not sure that counts for as much. And I would think the further distance from the Metro would be at least partially offset by being on a quieter street?

        • Actually the basement bedroom should count for more, because of the possibility of rental income. Or it’s at least a stand alone mother-in-law suite with it’s own bath and kitchenette.

          • But neither house has a real rental unit w/ C of O (as far as I can tell) so I don’t see why a kitchenette would make such a big difference.

            I’m guessing it has something to do with the proximity to the Metro and other details that textdoc mentioned…. but I’ll still be shocked if there’s actually a $150k difference in the sale prices.

          • The basement suite still offers appeal as a mother-in-law suite, rec room or an attractive amenity for group house rental. It’s nice, usable square footage with some self-sustaining features. I don’t see how that makes that fourth bedroom less valuable.

        • Most of these points are relatively minor, but for a buyer to (say) tear out all the carpeting and replace it with hardwood floors is not cheap.

          I think 3615 New Hampshire is somewhat ambitiously priced. On the Metro proximity vs. main street issue, I think that’s somewhat true, but I think 222 Varnum is too many blocks away for the quietness to outweigh the distance. A place that was one or two blocks off New Hampshire might go for more than a place directly on New Hampshire, as it would have proximity without the noise.

  • I love “mouse on house.” I would like a “mouse on life” tour.

  • Anyone who would by this house for $640K and expect see any appreciation in value over the next few years is seriously deluded. I wonder about all these people who buy flipper properties– isn’t there a huge reduction in value once the property becomes lived in a loses it’s ‘factory fresh’ appeal?

    • Or you could be buying to live in for the next 10+ years and not care about short-term appreciation. Assuming you aren’t gonna have kids (which at least I wouldn’t be able to afford to do after buying this house!)

    • I think this is a really interesting question– whether moving into a flip decreases its value, but I don’t think it does. I’m inclined to think the opposite, especially if you take a sterile uninspired flip and add some personality. In the case of my house, it was in the process of being renovated. Thus I have some new finishes, some things that clearly weren’t finished, and some real half-assed bad work. It was empty for a while, and I think that my living in it probably did add value. At least it added heat : ).

    • You could say all homes depreciate with use, although I can see the argument that the depreciation occurs at a faster rate immediately post renovation. OTOH, a spanking new home also comes with new appliances and systems, whereas a home that was renovated in 2000, say, has several systems that are close to failure or are only worth a fraction of what they once were in terms of expected future use.

      What I like about a new home, is that it gives you a number of years where you don’t have to worry about big ticket items. During that time, inflation should raise your salary, which lowers your housing expense and makes bigger expenses less burdensome.

      What I like about an older home, is that if you’re adding value through incremental updates in cash, you’re not financing the cost of those updates like a new home buyer is initially.

      Now, as to which is cheaper in the long run, I have no idea. One good thing about DC being so expensive is that most of the value of your home is in the land, which is not a depreciating asset. Any appreciation in overall value is bolstered by having a large percentage of “home” which can’t break down or lose value though use.

  • SF- never heard of the flipper houses losing value just cause they give lived in. Thats like a car losing value as soon as you drive it off the lot. We bought 11 months ago in this area, already refinanced and house was appraised at 30k more than we paid. And yep we bought a flip job. If anything, the flips are bringing up the house values on the non-flips.

  • I saw a bunch of recent home renovations in Petworth because friends of mine just bought a house on 5th St NW just south of Taylor….so we saw most of the renovations on the market. This one looks very nice – better than any of the flips still for sale in the nearby area. The price, 639K is high. If they get that price that will be the most a rowhouse has sold for in the area to my knowlege. I think one sold for $605K in the 500 block of Taylor recently. The house my friends bought was very nice too – it doesn’t have the loft of this house, the basement doesn’t have a kitchen area, plus they have parking but no garage door on the parking spot – but otherwise the level of finishes is pretty similar. They paid over $100K less for their house, on a quieter street only about 2 blocks further from the metro. Not sure the upgrades would justify this much higher price on a busy street as well, but this house is probably worth $600K easily.

  • I think it’s going to sell close to asking price considering that the same developer sold a similar house 3 blocks further from the metro for $600 and it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that this one has. Here’s the link to that other house:

  • I think it’s going to sell pretty close to asking price considering that the same developer sold a similar house 3 blocks further from the metro for $600 and it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that this one has. PoP is not letting me post the link but if you can check mouseonhouse and enter MLS# DC7703627 to see that other house.

  • No place on New Hampshire Ave., no matter how spacious, is worth $640K. Moreover, you put in a ridiculous “loft” like that, and that precludes the possibility of adding additional insulation. So you know what you get? A useless space that you have to cool and heat the cr*p out of!

  • janie4

    3914 New Hampshire, also a new flip, got $577k this month. That’s only an additional block. This is larger, but not sure if it’s $72k larger.

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