Good Deal or Not? Take two (reader request)

This home is located at 1956 2nd St, NW:

View Larger Map

The listing says:

“Gorgeous row home spanning over 3,400 sq ft on quiet tree lined street in historic Ledroit Park! Showcasing exposed brick, beautiful wood floors, crown molding, two fireplaces, eat in kitchen, formal dining room, elegant living room, in-law suite, sitting room, private terrace, & huge back yard. Master suite has 20ft vaulted ceilings. Off street parking for 4 cars. Walk to metro!”

You can see a virtual tour here.

Back in June 2010 this property was listed at $899,500. Today the 3 bed/2.5 bath is going for $799,999.

56 Comment

  • I went to this open house this weekend and I think that, at the reduced price, it’s a good deal. Ledroit is not for everyone, but this house is located in an absolutely beautiful area, and in the last year, Big Bear and Shaw’s Tavern have opened in the general viscinity, with, I’m sure, more on the way. And the place is just absolutely gorgeous. Not to everyone’s taste, of course, but some really unusual details and just an enormous amount of space, really feels like a mansion. The same house in Columbia Heights, even, would be at least 1,000,000.

    • um, Big Bear has been open for years, and Shaw’s Tavern is really not quite open at all. However, we now have Rustik, Boundary Stone, and Beau Thai all within easy walking distance, and having lived there for 10 years myself I can say that in the past 6 months the existence of these new places has really changed the feel of the neighborhood to being integrated into a truly urban environment (as opposed to merely very convenient to one by cab or car).

  • bfinpetworth

    I tend to think it is a good deal. Having said that, I would add that I think this is a horribly misplaced used of an exposed brick wall. The entire house is going for a classic elegance look, and then there is that old exposed brick. It just seems incongruent with the rest of the house that is crying out for plaster and paint.

    Exposed brick looks great in pubs, lofts, and the like. But not an elegant home like this.

    • exposed brick is the official community interior of ledroit park. like how the eagle is the official national bird. at least that’s what i’ve heard.

  • I think the Ledroit Park area has appeal but it is also an area that one might say is transitioning currently. There are some gorgeous details in this home but there are also some pedestrian ones, too. To its credit, they are not trying to make it more than what it is, which I sometimes see in the real estate market here. As per the Victorian era, the lower level is grand and elegant whereas the upper levels tend to be ordinary because they typically were not open for entertaining. Considering that it’s 3 bed/2.5 bath, if this were a listing in Logan, I’d say it was a great deal. Given that it is in Ledroit, I’d say it’s an OK deal, maybe a tad high.

  • What did they do to the walls in the master bedroom?! Wallpaper half way up, then salmon paint and a turquoise textured ceiling! Egad!

  • Umm, no. Horrible deal. It was laughable that someone even tried listing it at 900K. I really wish realtors had to pay a penalty for such flagrant ridiculousness and the wasting of their clients time.

    You can look at the comps on redfin (question, why did these gdon’s stop linking to the redfin listing as the PoP listing doesn’t give any actual listing or comp info like redfins does). This place is clearly overpriced on a finish level, square footage level, location within the submarket etc.


    • fine. go ahead and find some comps that show how this is over priced. i think it is a very difficult challenge to beat 228 psf in this area, with this quality of finishes.

      • I’m confused about how they get 3,400 on two above-ground levels. I’m guessing they are counting basement as square footage. I’m not sure if there’s a technical rule about this, but I think generally listings only consider above-ground as square footage; in any event, below ground square footage would definitely sell for a discount, so the $228 psf number is probably a bit misleading.

        • it is finished, rentable space. i could see excluding it if it were an unfishished unit. but its as livable as the rest of the house.

          • Yeah, there is a ~1,000 sq/ft discrepency. The City records (scroll down the redfin listing) list it as 2330 finished sq/ft which makes the pricing ~340 sq/ft.

            Now I see a room with a bed in it in what looks like a basement, but I don’t see any kitchen or bathroom, so calling it “rentable” seems to be a stretch.

            There also seems to be one highly offended anon who is responding to all the comments. Owner or listing realtor perhaps? Clearly you already know you mispriced it as you’ve brough the price down ~12% and neighborhood wise this ain’t no chevy chase.

          • what anon said at 2:18

          • i prefer highly animated or enthusiastic to highly offended. just bored at work and this is a good outlet. i am a neighbor and would love to see it go at this price and think that it should.

  • Can we say OVER – PRICED?!

    • make your argument with comps. not saying you’re not right, but this is all speculation so far

  • talula

    What a beautiful, yet oddly-decorated, house. I’d like to know who the people are in all those portraits, I wonder if the former owner was some kind of famous art history person. Almost looks like a museum with all that artwork.

  • shipsa01

    A lot of potential, but I’m afraid it’s still a bit high for the neighborhood and what it offers. The seller has some very specific tastes, which I think he overvalues. I think the house would have been bought in less than a day at 750, but instead shocked and offended people at 899 and even 799 and now turned off potential buyers. Also, when I visited it for an open-house, the homeowner was there, which I found to be a bit unsettling.

    • if the homeowner is weird, that can cut easily 50-100 k of the value of the home. more if they are a super weird eccentric. read to kill a mockingbird. do you know what that house went for when they put it on the market?

  • I do think it’s interesting that, when you go onto Zillow, all the other houses on that street are in the $300-450k range.

    • Zillow is not accurate in highly dynamic, booming markets like ours. Take a look at the settled sales history on redfin for a better view of the market.

      Not saying this one is priced right – I too think it’s a bit high – but good luck picking up a single family house for $300k in Ledroit Park.

  • I don’t understand how anyone could stomach paying $800K for a townhouse like this in this neighborhood. This area is so cute during the day and shockingly scary at night.

    • are you referring to dcusa? maybe not since the pancakes are always good.

      • Jeez…talk about blind delusion. I get it. You are underwater on your house and hope this one sells at a ridiculous price. But blindly ignoring real issues with the house and ‘hood isn’t doing your argument any good because prospective buyers aren’t going to ignore it.

        Within a 1/4th of a mile radius of this house (basically a 3-4 minute walk in any direction), there has been the following in the past 30 calender days.

        1 Robbery (Excluding Gun)
        4 Assaults with a dangerous weapon
        8 street robberys
        1 stolen car
        9 cars broken into

        Yeah, a virtual nirvana…

        It doesn’t matter if Columbia Heights is worse, or Georgetowns is better because this house isn’t in any one of those places.

        • i am just plain old greedy, i paid a fraction of this price for my house and it is bigger and located further west. still i want a higher valuation.

          but really the cohi point is important. the same buyer pool will pay more than the asking price for this house in cohi, but why? because there is a supermarket easily accessible? now this area has equivalent dining options thanks to bistro bohem, shaw tavern (soon), howard theatre, other establishments already mentioned. other variables like crime are similar. why shouldn’t the price be? so basically cohi houses should be used as comps, which means this is undervalued.

          • I’m one who has always believed Columbia Heights is overpriced. Its a transitional neighborhood whose main anchor for development is a freaking Target. Crime continues to be a significant concern. The premium people pay to live in that submarket astounds me. That said, you can’t be serious saying that one should use CH housing as comps for a house Ledroit Park. They are different markets. Even if I buy your argument that CH has worse crime, and the neighborhood amentities are catching up (long way to go), CH borders Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan and is a stone’s throw from some of the best areas in the city in Cleveland Park. They get considerable mileage out of that geography.

            This is a nice and interesting house that is a bit buyer-specific and needs some modern finishing for this market. Nobody is going to fall in love with it at this price. I would price it at $719k and see if you can get multiple bids.

          • pjy – great points, but they’ll probably fall on deaf ears. Since when do transitional neighborhoods not command commensurate pricing?

          • see part of the issue here is that there is a psychological divide between ledroit and the rest of u street, you might say it begins at 9th st or maybe vt. ave. so for decades le droit was unfairly grouped with bloomingdale. that will change as more development comes. savvy buyers ahead of the curve will recognize that this is neighborhood is really an extension of u street and that soon comps much further west will be even more appropriate than cohi. indeed it easier to get to most of the rest of the city from this house than it is in cohi. i am glad that this is going in writing so we can all refer back to it in five years.

          • ‘cross the tracks,’ with the howard theater development this has really changed. You can walk down T street all the way to the Howard and on to the main part of U street now without walking through any particularly sketchy feeling areas, unlike when the whole 4 blocks from 9th to the start of ledroit park felt largely abandoned.

            i walked down T towards the U street area this weekend and realized you can actually see the Howard Theater sign at the end of the road from blocks away – it’s a straight shot down T. When that is lit up, it’s going to be amazing.

        • Within 1/4 mile of 1800 P Street NW in past 30 days:

          5 robbery excluding gun
          2 assault deadly weapon
          9 burglary
          24 theft
          26 theft from auto
          1 stolen auto

          No one’s arguing Ledroit Park is Arlington. But if you look at the numbers you see most of NW outside of the upper part west of the park is pretty crime-ridden.

  • novadancer

    I can not believe anyone would think this is a good deal. Even at the newest price point. Then again I prefer modern over “grand and elegant” … definitely not a term I would use for the fixtures, decor, etc.

  • LeDroit Park has some of the best architecture in the city. That said, this house is overpriced for what it offers and for where the neighborhood is in terms of its development.

    • be more constructive with your feedback. what do you mean in terms of development? beautiful park. wonderful active neighborhood association (anc notable exception). fantastic dining options. its all there, the full package. fine, some high profile crime incidents. but there was a meth lab found on 16th st. last month. every neighborhood has its issues. let me guess you are really a stickler for increased density and cannot accept all the r2 zoning. i get it.

      • Look, don’t get your feelings hurt. This house is not worth the asking price and, objectively, LeDroit Park has a way to go before a house like this is worth that kind of $$$. A couple of restaurants nearby does not a safe, desirable neighborhood make.

      • Fantastic Dining options? You’re getting carried away. You have a coffee shop, a gastropub (bonudary stone is truly awesome, btw), and a Thai place within five blocks. Let’s not stretch the truth. This isn’t Gallery Place/Penn Quarter or even Barracks Row just because it is no longer a food desert.

        • Heheh…yeah, I about fell out of my chair with the “fantastic” dining options. You have 2.5 bars (.5 because one doesn’t have a booze license yet). Calling that fantastic dining options is pure comedy. Well done.

          And comparing crime between neighborhoods requires you to equalize the basis of comparison, population density for one. To pick your repeated Windmill, Columbia Heights with its thousands of apartment and condo dwellers within a 1/4th mile radius of the metro (not include SFH population(has far greater population density than does Ledroit).

          I could go on but it appears one clearly has on the tin foil hat.

          At the end of the day, someone with 800K to throw around is going to look where they can get the most for their money. Do they throw down on a magazine quality 2 or 3 bedroom condo in places like Logan, Dupont, Penn Qrt, which all have far more cultural and entertainment options and less crime, or do they throw it at what would be the most expensive comp in the area, in a place where people have to make themselves feel good by saying the 2.5 bars within a 15 minute walk constitutes “fantastic dining options”.


          • so i think that the real issue here is one of foresight. fine, i concede that right cohi right now might have a few more options and probably this is even more the case with penn quarter. but have you all heard of progression place? how about all the great jgb development down fl ave? this is the most promising part of the city right now. ok maybe it is mildly ambitious at this price, but it is really just anticipating future circumstances. look at how development on h street is priced with all of these property owners who got in ages ago holding on because they can see the trajectory. if this is overpriced it is really just precient, but only by a few years, maybe months, at which point it will be undervalued.

          • Keep dreaming. Maybe if you keep telling yourself that you’re ahead of the curve and that infill gentrification will miraculously work wonders (a notion demonstrably disproven by the “trajectory” of neighborhoods like Columbia Heights, where an influx of overpriced condos and suburban staples has, inexplicably, failed to eradicate crime), it will come true!

      • don’t be so defensive.

  • i know there are naysayers to the area. i live a few blocks from here and love it. been here a decade and i have no illusions about the safety. you must be careful. and crime happens not infrequently.

    but the new park is great and the neighborhood has been improving by leaps and bounds. yes, there are only a few amenities but you will find active engaged and fascinating neighbors. and it’s a quick walk to u street. i really like this house( – the decor) . but 800,000? sounds fanciful to me.

    • LeDroit Park is a special neighborhood and it has enormous potential (some of it already realized in the form of great architecture). The problem with a lot of these comment threads is that the self-appointed defenders of various neighborhoods overstate their cases and weaken their credibility. I hope LeDroit continues to improve in terms of safety. If it does, then all of the amenities that anyone would want probably will follow. Glad to hear that your happy with your situation. After all, that’s what really matters.

  • People are prickly this afternoon it seems. Nobody thinks this is worth the asking price, by a long shot. I agree that $719K given the size and the outdoor space is a good starting point for negotiating down to the high 600’s. As for the nightlife, it is rather on the tame side but the type of people wanting to live in this type of neighborhood are not those that would put a premium on a strip of clubs, bars and restaurants steps from the front door. It is definitely more staid. But that doesn’t mean there is a veritable wasteland of options. There does seem to be a certain contingent of commenters that regardless of the merits of a property, because that property is in a certain neighborhood take it as a personal affront and must condemn not only the property but anyone who might say he or she likes it. 1. Take things a little more disinterestedly. 2. Try a bit of objectivity without the preconceptions. Neighborhoods are changing rapidly and different things appeal to different people at different stages in life. If you don’t like something, fine but don’t bludgeon it.

    • ummm we still have this issue of comps which has not been addressed at all. even at 340 psf it is competitively priced. another important point that bears keeping in mind is that the total available housing stock in ldp is pretty low, which means that there are few recent sales to use as comps. overall give it the benefit of the doubt and it is a pretty decent deal.

  • I do not live in LeDroit Park, but I would live in LeDroit over pretty much every single neighborhood east of the Park except Bloomingdale and Logan.

    Lets be clear, LeDroit @ 800k isnt competing with Tenleytown/Georgetown or anything like that. Its competing with Shaw/East Logan, H Street, and Columbia Heights.

    When you talk about LeDroit being dangerous, yes its dangerous when compared to areas west of the Park, but I do not believe that there is more crime on a per capita basis in LeDroit than in many areas east of 16th.

    Its certainly a more pleasant place to live. I find Columbia Heights to be stressful to even drive through, it feels stifling and oppressive. H Street is isolated (until the street car, but the jury is out on how awesome that will be). Shaw is up and down – the eastern part (near ledroit) seems to be coming along – but the southern part down near Mt Vernon Square seems to be dragging.

    As for the number of bars, why would a neighborhood with such little density as Ledroit need more than 3-5 bars/restaurants?

  • This whole thread makes my brain hurt. I want that hot tub.

  • less metro accessibility @ 591 psf:

    needs tlc @ 426 psf:

    as is property right around the corner, practially the same block! @ 373 psf:

    —->>over a million, in ldp. yup, that’s right. @ 473 psf:

    • Before even getting into comparing tit-for-tat, these really aren’t comps as they are listings thus not sold.

  • over a million in ldp, priced at 410 psf:

    an as is property, right around the corner from this place, at 373 psf:

    less metro accessibility outside of historic district, at 591 psf:

    • You are embarrasing yourself now. Please stop.

      You clearly don’t know what a comp is because something doesn’t become a comp until it sells.

      Listing a million dollar house nearby thats been on the market unsold for 6 months and that is clearly to highly priced, is obviously not a comp.

      This thread has really gotten hilarious.

      • However, we both know there are multiple sold comps in B’dale/LeDroit/Eckington for over 700k. This place is certainly over priced. But, I bet it sells for over $650k, which is higher than I think you and theheights think is possible.

        • No, I agree with you that it might sell for $650,000. Depending on how much optimism you have for improvement in the overall safety of the neighborhood, and depending on how long you’re willing to wait for that change to occur, that might be a good deal. It’s a large house that needs some remodeling, but it could be worth a lot more someday. The question is, when is “someday?”

        • 650 maybe. but that’s a far cry from 800.

          • there is no way to make a wager on the final sale price. i would love something with different odds, like the bet would pay 2:1 if it went for asking, pay even money if it went for 750,000. i would put alot of money on the fact that it will go above 700k. hopefully we will know before too long.

      • They are probably attempting to use this as a comp

        One thing that low inventory can do (instead of just not having recent comps) is push up the price. Just simply because there isn’t much inventory for SFD that are in good livable condition.

        I’m not saying the property should sell for the price either — there are far many more comps in the area in the 600’s

  • I live off of U street in the Westminster neighborhood. I love the feeling of Ledroit. It was actually one of the very first subdivisions in Washington, D.C.

    In 20-25 years this neighborhood will be prime real estate. The surrounding areas will be all built up and maybe even overbuilt leaving this great residential oasis within 5-10 minute walk to all the action.

    Is it worth $799,00 – arguments can be made either way. When it comes down to it; the market will dictate. I will say that the personal taste of the home are not helping it’s cause.

Comments are closed.