Good Deal or Not? “Grace of Yesteryear” edition (reader request)

This home is located at 1130 Park Rd, NW:

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The listing says:

“Gracious Turn of the Century Large Victorian on Hot Hot Block Steps to Metro and Red Rocks Pizzeria! Rich in Architectural Detail – Pocket Doors, Deep Molding, High Ceilings. FABULOUS Inlaw Suite! Delightful Screened Porch & Parking! The Layout and Grace of Yesteryear w/ Double Parlor, Huge Dining Room & Comfortable Space Throughout. Quality Replacement Windows. Stunning Price.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 5 bed/3.5 bath is going for $729,000.

26 Comment

  • “Grace of Yesteryear” screams to me that it might need updating. What is deep molding, don’t even want to try to guess what this means. Admittedly, now I will look at the photos but wanted to give my impressions what “Grace of Yesteryear” says to me. Hopefully it will be a beauty other than what silly realtors write to try to catch their audience. “Grace of Yesteryear” certainly doesn’t do it for me.

  • That’s an amazing deal. Is it haunted or something?

  • Where to begin? I hope deep molding doesn’t mean crown molding b/c from the photos – only the dining room has crown molding. There are some lovely details in the home (looks like a beautiful armoire in the dining room). The colored walls on the lower level (looks like either texturized paint or wallpaper) seems fitting for the perhaps age of the house (turn-of-the-century) but it also dates it. What’s a little odd to me is that some rooms feel old and some feel pretty streamlined and modern…I wonder which century I am, depending upon which room I am in. For example, the master bedroom looks to be rather modern, for the feel of the house, but a couple of the other bedrooms have that old-world feel. While I appreciate both old and modern, I don’t like having if shift from room to room. The photo of the bath after the master bedroom seems on the older end and a little ordiner, but then look at the super modern sink – strange, to me. It doesn’t work all together. The decor shifts so dramatically for each bedroom, it makes me wonder if this is a group house that is trying to be sold as a single-family home. The in-law suite looks as if it is being rented out, but if so, illegally, since it’s being denoted as in in-law suite with no acknowledgement of a CofO. (I know, lots of places in this city are rented out illegally). Anyway, I love the enclosed screened porch. I don’t hate the kitchen though there are some defects. I can’t think of a less appealing or more impractical place to put the microwave – freestanding on top of the refrigerator (could be a mistake, though). Some people might complain about the butcher block countertop, but while not necessarily my first choice, they were popular before granite became all the rage. It suits the kitchen pretty well here. I like the set of stairs in the kitchen, which look like “maid stairs,” which led up the backway so the “help” could enter/exit the kitchen without “being seen” in the main rooms. This is how it was in some old, elegant homes – and these terms are not my terms. I’m just stating that that is what they are. My main criticism of the kitchen is the space (because it’s angled in a corner-like wedge, L-shaped) – the area from the refrigerator to the stove, I know I would feel cramped in that area of the kitchen, even though I’d probably be spending most of my time in that corner.

  • The entryway and the 2 “parlors” are to die for but $729 seems high to me given 1) the lack of central air, 2) a kitchen & bathrooms that look older than me and 3) no backyard.

    • i was thinking good to great deal, after reading these excellent points i think it is mediocre to good.

    • This is not a sparkling new place, but if you think it’s overpriced at $729 you are smoking the proverbial crack. This is serious real estate in one of the hottest areas of the entire city, for only slightly more than some homes in Petworth have recently gone for. It will sell quickly, for asking or above asking.

  • I toured this house and am pretty familiar with the neighborhood:

    1. The house is in nice shape. Its been owned by the current couple for about 12 years and they have done a good job slowly renovating it. Decor (which someone already mentioned) isn’t my favorite but people who discount a possible home based on the design of the wallpaper or the paint color in a bedroom are the height of ridiculous. Talk about the “forest for the trees” argument…

    Potential Issues in my mind:

    1. Fronts onto Park which is heavily trafficd by both cars and more so now the past few years, people. Homeowners on Park, Lamont, Kenyon, Monroe etc are really having a heck of a time dealing with the new legions of drunk people wandering home at 2:00am after the places on the new “hipstrip” close. It appears local homeowners traded in the drunk hispanic guys who were passed out in their lawns at 3:00pm, to the vomiting, screaming and/or passed out hipsters on their way home at 2:00am Thursday through Sunday.

    2. No offstreet parking. There is a tiny area under a small deck in the back that the current owners could squeeze two motorcycles into, but not even a smart car could fit back there. From what I saw, every other house on the block seemed to have offstreet parking. Just unlucky I guess.

    3. House doesn’t have central air. Big no-no in todays market that is expensive to remedy.

    Considering all the above, and the market in Columbia heights I say the place goes for asking and in short order.

    • Re: Parking.

      The realtor needs to remove this parking point from the Redfin listing. It says that the listing price includes parking (driveway/off street). Either, it’s misleading or an outright lie. Considering that parking is a valuabe asset to property, if there is no true off-street parking (for a car, which most presume that’s what a parking space is for) then the price needs to reflect that honestly.

    • A lack of CAC isnt the end of the world, million dollar homes are sold in georgetown, capitol hill, etc with window units. There’s going to be a discount, but if the lack of CAC is the only thing wrong with a place then its not a huge handicap. With this property, its one of a handful of problems, not the only one.

      On a sidenote, the existence of CAC isnt an automatic plus – Ive seen way too many poorly sized or poorly installed systems to get too worried about a lack of A/C or giddy if there is A/C..

      • true, but at least having duct work in place would make it easier to update. This home has four finished floors, which would mean a lot of bulkheads to conceal and also make it difficult to zone without ripping stuff up. For a professional CAC installation that’s probably $25-30K, if not more.

        I think it’s a good deal based on size and location. The “deal” comes with a catch that it will cost more to realize its potential value, at which point it may be less than a deal

    • Disagree strongly with respect to your first point. I live a couple doors away on 13th. My neighbors and I are thrilled that the drunks are slowly being replaced by heavy foot-traffic associated with 11th. Noise and disorderliness has not been a problem that has warranted any conversation when I’m talking to neighbors. The drunks at the corner bodega and hanging out in the alley, however, are constant topics.

  • This seems like a steal to me. $261 a foot for a beautiful house with tons of original detail in the middle of Columbia Heights? Is this one of those low-ball to create a bidding war deals?

  • Is that a dropped ceiling in the kitchen? Hard to tell. I think the house is totally bizarre with its mish-mash of styles and decor, but I kinda like it. Pretty radiators! Given the location, I’d say it’s priced about right. I hope some flipper doesn’t come transform it into condos.

  • Looks like a great deal to me. Not your typical brand new flip, but looks like it has been well kept with upgrades through the years and not lost it’s original charm (which most new flips completely lose). Not my particular taste in decor but that is easily overlooked if you are smart. Kitchen is odd and some downsides could be lack of parking and air con. The location is muy bueno nestled in between the CoHi Metro and the 11th street development explosion all with a price of $261 per sq/ft!

  • The slideshows on these virtual tours gives me a headache…

  • The kitchen is the room of the house that I would tackle first (those ceilings!), but otherwise this looks to be in very good shape and easily update-able with some paint and new tile.

    Not that I’ve got any experience in this price bracket, but I’d say good deal for that amount of space, original details, the location, and the care that’s obviously been taken of this place.

    And as a neighbor, I actually don’t find the screaming drunk hipsters that annoying – although I might hold a slight grudge against the group who has left me with the theme of Ducktails stuck in my head for the past two weeks.

  • The house itself and its location to the Metro makes this a great deal. I don’t know the block though, and if it’s as noisy as joker says, then it it totally downgraded.

    I also appreciate no central a/c since I turn the window units on about 9 times a year (3 of those days are usually only for the in-laws). It’s very likely that European mini-splits will become much more streamlined and pretty in the next few years.

    • I don’t live on that block but have friends that do and the “legions of drunk people” is a tad exaggerated. There is one decent size bar there (Meridian Pint) and it is not a crazy drunken orgy. Extra foot traffic = safer neighborhood IMHO.

  • binpetworth

    That’s one sweet transom in the foyer!

  • I agree with the other posters here – decent price for a place that needs a combination of cosmetic and significant upgrades to make this into a dream house. Honestly the way it’s decorated now makes it look like it is or was a group home with random people making painting decisions room-by-room. Certainly not my taste, but it looks well maintained and livable.

    My criticisms:

    1. Basically all of the rooms are painted in different textures/hues/styles. Repainting a big row house like this and doing a good job is not a minor undertaking. Plan on at least $20K.

    2. The kitchen is functional but pretty basic. I would want to replace it, but that’s only because my current apartment kitchen is nicer than this one.

    3. The screened porch could be enclosed and the kitchen made bigger. It’s certainly a really nice screened porch, but I’d see it being more useful as part of a larger kitchen space.

    4. The bathrooms are very dated.

    There’s a lot of potential to this place, but it would take $80K – $100K to turn it into a showplace.

  • So, a house that is a few blocks from CoHi metro that has serious dream house potential, AND killer income property potential in the in-law suite, for 729k? And people need to even debate whether this is a good deal or not?

    There is a serious market in DC for a house like this. Someone with 125-150k in additional cash is going to call an architect and a designer and walk through this house and turn it into a an absolute gem of a property. There are issues (awkward layout associated with victorian area castles …er, houses, bathrooms need updating, kitchen needs updating, HVAC work, and insulation questions posed by this strange sunroom-porch). But that is all resolvable with money. This property has the fundamentals right (history and curb presence, location, and square footage). I just wish I had the money.

  • The wallpaper (or marbleized paint or whatever that is) in the downstairs is awfully off-putting, though presumably not too hard to remedy.

    The ceilings in what’s labeled as the master bedroom seem awfully low. I’m imagining that’s probably the third floor, and wondering if the “first bedroom” on the second floor is suitable for repurposing as a master bedroom (i.e., where are the bathrooms in relation to the bedrooms?).

    The kitchen doesn’t look outdated to me — that looks like current IKEA cabinetry — but it does seem to be making poor use of the space. The presence of the big butcher-block thing suggests to me that the existing cabinet space is not sufficient, at least for the current occupants. And you’d think that the agent would’ve had them take the microwave off the refrigerator, since there appears to be sufficient counter space to put it on the counter.

    It’s a pity that the “quality replacement windows” had to be ones that are markedly different from the ones of the houses on either side (and presumably most of the rest of the block).

    The place seems to have very good bones. Despite the lack of central A/C and parking, after looking at the comps (or what Redfin perceives as the comps) I think it will go for above asking.

  • Well,

    It is under contract in 4 days. I guess the 730K price and existing condition didn’t scare off too many people!

    • I saw a note on one of the listings that said the owners wanted all links (I’m assuming to PoP, for example) to be not accessed through these real estate websites, for possible fear of a potential buyer from seeing random people comment on a place. I was never sure how realistic it would be to try to keep people away from websites, but maybe it worked for them, in this case.

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