Good Deal or Not? “thoughtful total renovation” edition (reader request)

This home is located at 3513 Holmead Pl, NW:

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The listing says:

“Urban Casa 4 bed 31/2 Bath cool legal 1 bedroom rental Great street presence,3 good sized bdr, one master suite, powder room, Stone FP, HD floors throughout, great light, open floor plan, 2 decks, Pkg 2 cars, quiet street, energy efficient fixtures, appliiances and systems,thoughtful total renovation done with lots of care.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $775,000.

51 Comment

  • This is a horrendous renovation with too many odd features to mention. They turned a quaint little rowhouse into something that wouldn’t look out of place as a ski chalet in Vail. Bizarre iron railings inside and out, small kitchen, weird little touches everywhere. Terrible staging. And overpriced.

  • Well, there’s a lot of stone – or stone variatons (brick) going on in here. This house isn’t to my style preference. Don’t get me wrong – I like stone, in appropriate doses. Here, I think it’s too much. It would be dungeon-like or monastery-like if the house didn’t get much light. Now here’s a stairwell handrail that is not to my liking, too much frill for me. The fireplace seems too heavy to me, all that stone. It would be great in a mountain cabin or chalet, but for city living, a bit much for my liking.

    I wonder why they say legal rental basement apartment, but no mention of CofO. I am assuming that while the basement probably fulfills the legal requirement in which to rent out the basement, perhaps they never got a proper CofO.

    All that said, here’s what I like: the bathrooms, while not special or not high-end, they never try to be more than they are. The powder room seems decent, if plain – but nothing wrong with that. It seems simple, clean.

    The kitchen, even though it’s large, and is fine – I don’t love it. I’m not sure why they chose to make a galley-type kitchen in such a large room. It’s not awful but I wish it were more appealing. Seems like a lot of unused space unless you need to fit table and chairs because I didn’t see a dining room/eating area in the photos.

    The decks seem pleasant and how terrific to have 2 parking places convey.

    The two houses (the one next to it on the left, front-facing, seem like best friends). It amuses me when two homes pretty much repeat similar styles, as this one does.

    Question on the basement bathroom: there is a narrow alley in the photo of the loo and sink…is that a corridor that leads to the shower that is set back? Can’t quite figure out the configuration but that’s what I’m guessing.

  • hideous!

  • What kind of thoughts is this house full of?
    Took a house with broad appeal and rennovated out 90% of potential buyers.
    Sticks and stones not only break bones they are too much.

    What I do like – the kitchen. Its big enough to fit a big kitchen table and chairs.

    • What kind of thoughts? Crazy ones.

      It hurts my eyes. The stone/brick/floors/tile is way too busy and I freaking hate the stairs and upstairs railing. And while I sort of like the kitchen, at least the table space, it looks like it would be a pain in the ass too cook in–you’re going to do a lot of walking back and forth and back and forth to the sink, fridge, and stove.

  • Hideous. I see either a family of Hobbits moving in, or a little old lady with 100 cats. Way overpriced considering most new owners would want to tear half of the “thoughtful” renovations out before they move in. And really, there was nowhere else to put that toilet except for directly in front of the window?

    • The toilet in the window is one of the strangest renovation choices I’ve seen in a long time.

      “Hi everybody, I’m going to the bathroom!”

      Otherwise, I think this renovation has limited appeal, as noted by other posters. It will be hard to sell this place, since the style is so unique. The main staircase was clearly difficult and expensive to install even though I doubt many buyers would be willing to pay a premium for it.

    • poop with my back to a window? hell no.
      pee facing a window? maybe!

    • Having just scrolled through the virtual tour a second time, I now see the spindles for the staircase are used everywhere in this house – front porch, back porches, 2nd floor bannister, even as decorative brackets on the outside of the front bedroom windows!

  • Wow, this is some “Helen Keller Institute of Design for Bad Choices” craziness going on.

  • I actually love it. A great design! I don’t know if the price is right but I see myself living there.

  • I actually kinda like the railings and stone fireplace. I think the house is interesting. I’m not a huge fan of stone veneer (I think that’s what the front is), but I like the entrance to the basement and the openness and light. I have a galley kitchen, so I don’t mind that either and think this one is rather handsome. Actually, I like the railings alot.

    • You’re probably right about the front stone veneer or whatever fake stone is called. Real stone would have been a monstrous job and would be expensive, so given how much “rock” there is in this place, the list price would have been even higher.

    • soozles,

      I don’t mind galley kitchens at all but I prefer them in smaller spaces, which seems to be a good use of a small space, design-wise. Here, in this kitchen, it seems like a lot of wasted opportunity.

      • It’s kind of hard to tell how it fits in—or doesn’t—with the rest of the house. I would have liked to have seen a photo looking straight back from the front or the other way around. It looks like there may be a counter between the kitchen and dining room? I dunno. And you probably could put a table in there for an eat-in kitchen.

  • Ai yai yai! I think I disliked the place more with every click through the virtual tour.

    The price seems high to me considering the distance from Metro, and the fact that the place was renovated according to a… shall we say, very particular taste that most people don’t seem to share.

    The stone facing is unattractive, and apparently contagious — it’s spread to the columns of the porch next door!

    I don’t like the open staircase, or the railings (which also appear outdoor).

    The toilet tank in the powder room is taller than the sill of the window it’s placed against.

    The wood they’ve chosen for the upstairs flooring doesn’t look right. I think the planks are too wide and the color is too tan.

    I don’t see a handle on the door on the under-sink cabinet in the downstairs bathroom, and it doesn’t really look like the kind that’s meant not to have a handle.

    The doors for the basement refrigerator were mounted on the wrong side; they ought to open in the opposite direction.

    The basement shower looks very dark. I hope there’s lighting inside that just didn’t happen to be turned on at the time of the photo.

    The basement kitchen backsplash has a crazy pixellation effect going on.

    • I’ don’t disagree with anything you said except from the distance from the metro. It’s a 10-minute walk to the Petworth stop, which is really not that far.

    • I didn’t mean that it was super-far from Metro, just that it wasn’t, say, 2-3 blocks from Columbia Heights Metro.

      On the other hand, if it were that close to CH Metro, it would probably be a gorgeous Victorian and be on the market for a lot more.

  • Way too much bronze/red/iron stone colors, you can’t escape it and there’s no contrast. Wayyyyy overpriced, and the back of the house is ugly too

  • why would you put up a cage in the back yard instead of a fence?

  • I love it. Not your normal boring renovation. If you are not going to keep the original details than have fun

  • I didn’t even bother looking at the inside pics. This house is FUGLY. End of story

  • A little brick goes a long way. This is even more true of stone. They’ve made it into a place that will look even more awful with time.

  • i would drink the hell out of a mojito on that porch!

  • Is this where Harry Potter was filmed?

  • This house reminds me of that hideous bachelor’s pad that was done all in stone to the owner’s taste, and he kept calling it a palace. Wonder what happened to that place…

  • talula

    OK, the toilet seat in front of the window is hilarious! Why on earth would someone think that’s a good design for a bathroom?? Way too much exposed brick and other oddities going on in this house, although I do really like the stone fireplace.

  • Love the front porch and upper exterior. Love the stairs and love the awesome arch in the basement.

    Hate the bathroom window, hate the cheap doors and tile everywhere, and hate the coffer ceiling in the kitchen (that can be done so right, but it seems like in this instance, it’s done to make the whole room seem shorter).

    So I’d say, for me, bad deal.

  • The guys next door managed to buy this place and flip it. I took a tour of their house once and it was perhaps the most hideous renovation I’ve ever seen. Everything is built really well, but it’s in the worst taste imagineable.

    Unfortunately, they had a blank canvas for this house and they completely ruined it. What was a really cool cottege house in the middle of a sea of Wardmans is now some kind of ski chalet. I haven’t been inside, but I imagine all the work is done very professionally, just in really, really poor taste.

    Why would anyone want something so specific? Not only that, but $775K? That’s completely preposterous. Houses in good taste that are bigger are generally pushing $700 right now. I’m not sure if they’ve done the neighborhood a disservice pricing it so high, but what they did do is completely destroy a really cool house.

    • Well, they bought it for 300K 5 months ago. Selling it for 400K more at 775K barely leaves them any room for profit (rolls eyes).

      Look at 1346 Parkwood Pl on Redfin. It is a block away and sold in November. Not only would a blind man considering it much nicer looking house with seemingly equal finish quality, but it sold for 140K less.

      Whatever these people are smoking…I want some!

  • Love it. Wish I could buy it. I love the stairs and the arch in the basement.

  • Folks, I have been in DC 4 months ago. Is this what people normally get for 775K in DC? I thought I misread this post. Another 225K would be a million.

    • Yes – and welcome to DC.

    • Well, if you moved down to the U street/Logan Circle/Dupont Circle you could get a 1200sq ft condo for the same price if this place is too big for you….

      Wasn’t sure if you were excited about how cheap it was or flabbergasted at how expensive it was. 😉

      Yes, welcome to DC real estate…

      • More like shocked. I knew ahead rent will be expensive but I thought buying might not the same. I earned a whole lot more in DC from where I was in Ohio but the increase in income is not 3 times. Back home, for around 250K I could get…….well nevermind.

        • Why on earth would you think purchasing would be cheaper than renting? I suppose its all down to what you have for a down payment, but housing is housing.

          On the theory that every buyer will eventually become a seller, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that the real estate market is shockingly high priced. Tricky part is finding a way to get your foot in the door and then making wise investment decisions (hint, whoever remodled this places did not make wise investment decisions

    • No, not in that neighborhood. I agree it’s way overpriced, but kinda interesting.

  • a case of way way too many building materials. workmanship looks fine but the choices made definitely clash.

  • It kinda reminds me of a house that should be located in Colorado, Montana or somewhere out West. It doesn’t have the urban appeal of a home located in D.C., but hey, what do I know. Someone spent a lot of money on the renovations though. I do love the fireplace and brick wall. Although there does seem to be LOT of stone. The kitchen’s kinda of funny, having all of it on one side of the wall. I would have thought they would put cabinets on both sides or maybe an island in the middle. That’s a lot of wasted space. I’m sure someone will fall in love with it – it will definitely appeal to a specifc buyer.

  • Agree with the majority of commentors that this is, indeed, a very strange renovation with way too many mismatched garish features. I think it’s curious that several have suggested that the developer spent a lot of money on the reno, though. I think it looks like they shopped bargin bins for tile, flooring, railings and slapped those cheap finds together using what might charitably be called their eccentric sense style (though it’s hard to figure out why anyone would put a toilet in front of a window or fake stone on the facade, eccentric or not). I’m guessing the source of the “reader request” (the realtor challenged with selling this stinker, probably) is regretting that request. The tribe has clearly spoken.

    • I am not sure who built the house but the stone is real stone , and you can simply add a shutter or some window treatment to the bathroom window . Sounds like this is the tribe of haterade!

  • If by thoughtful renovation they mean that they puked up every half-baked idea they ever had and nailed it down wherever they landed, then yes I agree.

  • I love this house! Overpriced but memorable!

  • I’m a fan. It’s quirky and cute.

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