Good Deal or Not? “dedicated dining room” edition (reader request)

This house is located at 1844 8th St, NW:

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The listing says:

“1844 8th St is a newly renovated two-bedroom, one bathroom home with an extra half-bathroom on the first floor. There is a dedicated dining room, a wood-burning fireplace, hardwood floors throughout and new stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Out back there is a private patio and a parking space that is not deeded but is private to this home in practice. Upstairs you’ll find a very bright master bedroom with a large bay window, plus a second bedroom that is perfect for an office too. The bathroom is huge, with new tile floors and shower, separate large jacuzzi tub and high-end finishes. You won’t… find a better value for a home in the area, and you’ll love living here. Metro is a block away, and endless choices in restaurants, dining, bars and entertainment, including U-Street’s famous jazz clubs, are just a stone’s throw away too.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 2 bed/1.5 bath is going for $589,900.

47 Comment

  • Brought to you by Home Depot and Flip-A-Quick-Buck Renovations, Inc. Close to the Green Line, though. So that’s worth something.

    • I don’t understand why some people are against items bought from certain stores? Are you too “good” for them? Now I certainly understand hating Home Depot’s customer service/organization. And I understand hating poor quality work, i.e. “flip-a-quick-buck renations” that are badly done (not saying this one is – can’t tell either way from the photos). But if someone’s home is perfectly nice why does it matter where they obtained the fixtures and materials in it?

      • Exactly. Such nastiness. Not cute.

      • For nearly $600K for that size house, it should matter. You can get better materials and better design (in both aesthetic and function aspects of design) for the same price, or even LESS, if you take the time to do the research.

        • I don’t get the predictable hate on home depot either. You are paying for LOCATION. This is why total dumps/shells can go for 700k around H street NE or this house is 600k by the shaw metro. Putting in extra special custom marble, fixtures, granite, finishes will have almost no bearing at all on how a house gets priced in most neighborhoods. (the exceptions being maybe palisades or chevy chase where those things would pretty much be standard…then again, you buying there for location even more).

      • It just seems like such a waste to spend so much on materials and fixtures that look nice (or look terrible: that Home Depot/Ikea stuff like hollow-core doors and nickle hardware does look cheap) but are actually poor quality and will fall apart as quickly as a prefab suburban home. Particularly when you can get higher quality materials for less from places like Community Forklift or pay the same price or a little more to get the quality goods from specialty stores.

        • I’ve been to community forklift and what you say just isn’t accurate. Quite a bit of the stuff there is crap, and much of what isn’t crap isn’t all that cheap, and even the real “deals” generally require quite a bit of work to spiff up back to nice. So fancier materials either cost more, or require more work (and time to find) and thus cost more. That’s fine for a DIYer who has a functional house to live in and can spend years renovating. It’s also fine for someone who will pay a premium to a contractor for going above and beyond. But it absolutely costs more.

          But I do like the whole recyling thing – so this isn’t a knock on community forklift, just a more accurate assesment of what it is and what it takes to get “fancy” materials.

          If you wanted old materials that more consistently weren’t crap you had to go to the old Brass Knob Warehouse. Of course you paid through the nose for that privelage…

          • I was going to say something along these lines. When my front gate was stolen I thought it would be worth checking out CF before getting a new one fabricated. I wasn’t really expecting to find something that would work, but even so I was expecting better than their ragtag collection of gates that were in horrble shape with weeds growing around them. I’m happy that we have a resource like CF, but I think you have to be willing to drive out there several times a week, for several months, before you will find what you need, and even then you’ll need to do some work on the item. There’s a lot more effort involved.

  • That is one awfully confusing description regarding the patio/parking spot.

    If I’m reading it correctly, it is saying that the patio is deeded but the parking is not. So, it is really just an alley with public parking that no one tends to use or know about (until now).

  • My friends actually just closed on this house this morning! I am excited for them for their first house and I know they are excited as well. Luckily my friend knows how PoP posters can be so she already vowed not to read the comments here (and she was right based on the first one!)…

    • Tell your friend congrats and that there was at least one non-hater in the comments. Pretty reno in a great location.

    • Congrats to them. I hope they enjoy the neighborhood. I live down the block, and can say it’s a great place to live (aside from some occasional shananigans from our neighbors at Lincoln Westmoreland). Easy to get around, and surprisingly quiet and peaceful for being right in the center of the city.

    • Congrats to your friends. It’s a great house!

    • Congratulations to your friends. We’ve been in the neighborhood since 2000. I don’t get the hateful Home Depot comments.

  • That “parking space that is not deeded but is private to this home in practice” sets off the DING DING DING alarm bells in my head.

    I’d hate to get accustomed to a parking space (especially over the next few years as Shaw becomes a more competitive place to find parking), and then lose it because it turned out to belong to the city, or to some owner who suddenly turned up out of nowhere.

  • I keep seeing renovated kitchens that have refrigerators with doors that open to the “wrong” side – I don’t get it…

    • Ha. Ours opened the “wrong way” when we bought our house too. Luckily it was as easy as unscrewing the door and moving the hing portion to the opposite side.

    • Good catch — I guess the developer couldn’t be bothered either to order it with the door opening from the correct side, and/or couldn’t be bothered to change it around at the time it was being set up.

    • It’s a small detail that is easily corrected but what it should say is wonder how sloppy other things were done in the reno.

      • *Exactly* I do a lot of home work and repairs. When I see the small details not right – like the screws on a light switch plate are not all aligned vertically – it is a warning sign to look deeper and check other more important things.

        The screws all being vertical are purely cosmetic but and electrician worth his salt will make sure they align that way *every* time. A fridge door which opens the wrong way is a HUGE alarm bell that other things may have been done in a sloppy way.

        • Please share, do you know of any electricians in the area worth their salt? I have yet to meet one.

        • How should the screw on an outlet cover be aligned? Just curious.

          • I’ll be the first to admit that screw alignment has NOTHING to do with safety or code since it is purely visual but it is one easy to see indicator (among many) of the quality of the rest of the job. ALL flat-head screws, no matter the cover plate type, should be vertical. I’ve yet to meet a real electrician who didn’t agree with that.

            What I have always wondered though, is what if you use Phillips head screws? 🙂

      • I’ll second that “Exactly.” Poor finishing indicates poor structure.

  • it kind of makes my stomach turn that a 2 bedroom 1.5 bathroom is going for almost 600k in this neighborhood (i know its a great neighborhood and is getting so much better, but still). I’m glad when I was looking for minimum 2 br 2 ba 3 years ago i never had to look over 500k. makes me feel like i bought at the right time. that kitchen is awful, but for people looking for a “move in ready” home, they can deal with that later. i guess i can’t say its a bad deal at this point knowing the market.

  • Looks like a nice house, but I hate those moving photos. They’re distracting and make me nauseous.

  • Hmmm, with the descriptions from RE listings that I’ve seen lately, I think they should outsource writers to do the ads. “one bathroom home with an extra half-bathroom on the first floor. There is a dedicated dining room…Out back there is a private patio and a parking space that is not deeded but is private to this home in practice.” Why not say 1-1/2 baths, people understand the lingo. What is a “dedicated dining room.” A room dedicated to dining only? Ridiculous! A parking space that is not deeded but is private to this home in practice. A little misleading. I see why from the picture (it’s not part of the property, looks like it’s in an alley or a shared space courtyard that has become an area for cars to be parked. Either way, hopefully the price does not include parking. Anyway, other than the descriptions, it sounds like a good deal that was snapped up in a good location to be near entertainment, etc. Congrats to the new owners!

  • Look at the price back in 1994…

    Price History for 1844 8th St NW —

    04/11/1994 Sold view details $119,000 Public records

    • In 1994 Shaw was on par with a third world country, but with more gunfire. A price from 18 years ago is not all that relevant now.

      • I think jch was just showing how much prices have changed (Great for the people who endured the tough years in Shaw)

        I am also not sure if Shaw was like a third world country. By ’94 the Metro was open a couple of years and it was around 1994 (through 1996ish) the the DC murder rate started a steep decline after the heart of the ‘crack years.’

  • Seems like it was priced about right to me. It is really hard to find a fee-simple house in that location in move in condition in that price range.

  • I think this is a good deal — a 2 br condo in the area would be about the same price or not that much cheaper.

  • The positive with the builder grade cabinets is that at least they aren’t necessarily going to be adding even more on to the price for custom made cabinets. Sure the kitchen is not to my taste but isn’t the rule to appeal to 90% of the customers 90% of the time. Or is that just for rentals.

  • I forgot to add that considering it is already under contract it was obviously priced right.

  • Priced totally right. This is a great neighborhood and about to get even better. People are going to continue to snap places up in this area.

  • Very smart purchase by the buyers. If you think this place is expensive now, wait till you see how much it’s worth 5 to 10 years from now. Look no further than Logan Circle to see the future.

    • I generally get your point, but one slight (and I say slight) difference being that many of the Logan homes are Victorians. Other than that tiny difference, your point is well made and taken.

    • The buyers around Logan Cirle benefitted from a historic housing bubble. Do you expect that to repeat itself?

      • Many of the neighborhoods, not just Logan.

      • I thought they’ve benefitted from the rebirth and desirability of 14th street. Yes, I think the scenario I just described will repeat itself in Shaw as Shaw continues to gentrify.

        • So, in your opinion, Logan Circle’s (or any other neighborhood’s) desirability fueled a housing boom that was decoupled from a national housing bubble of epic proportions? That’s not credible. Maybe the newly-gentrifying neighborhoods will see good ROI, but there’s no evidence that housing prices will rise like they did during the bubble. After all, for most of the post WWII era, housing was a slowly-appreciating asset. Any buyer of a flipped house has an uphill climb to make a big profit since the renovator already took some of it.

          • Taking a guess in the dark for Bloomingdude I think all B is stating is that it is probably a good investment, one that will likely increase in value, which is not saying we are heading for another historic housing bubble. It’s possible B overstated the sentiment a bit, but with the gentrification and development pushing in that direction, being close to metro and downtown, it doesn’t seem like a bad neighborhood to put hopes into.

          • That’s a much more sober assessment. It’s a PoP parlor game to predict which neighborhoods will see massive real estate appreciation and that normally brings the overly-exuberant neighborhood cheerleaders out of the woodwork. But predicting gains similar to circa 2003-2007 in different market conditions seems a flawed approach.

    • This is the stuff PoPville boners are made of.

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