Good Deal or Not? “upscale modern row house” edition

This house is located at 976 Florida Avenue, NW:

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The listing says:

“Prime location in U St. Corridor!!!!! This upscale modern row house has it all. Contemporary design includes table space kitchen opens to family room, leading to private fenced in deck w/ alley access. Gorgeous hardwood floors, recessed lights and exposed brick. Upstairs features 2 bedrooms and full bath w/ balcony off main bedroom. Two block to metro, shops and dining.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 2 bed/1 bath is going for $515,000.

48 Comment

  • The photos are so bad you can’t tell what you’re looking at. Virtual tour link not working, either. Would like to see this one!

  • Yeah, Redfin says it’s under contract. That’s an insanely high price for 672 sq ft, with no basement, no garage, almost no back yard, and not that great of a neighborhood. If they can get that price, I feel like I should put my house in CH that is twice as big and has all of those amenities on the market.

    • This house is small, but great use of space. As far as the location is concerned U st has passed 9th and with all of the rehab on Sherman Ave, I actually think this is a great location to see property values continue to rise. There are condos in this neighborhood selling for more plus condo fees.

      • a great use of space? The fridge is under the stairs. I would hate that kitchen. They did a great job on the fixtures and hood and cabinets but the space is just too small

    • Not that great of a neighborhood?!?!?!

      • First, I’ll bet the square footage is off. Most of the houses in that area were built by the same developer around 1900 and have the same dimensions. Based on some of the past GDON from the area, I think it’s probably closer to 800-900 sq. ft.

        Second, that’s a great location. I’ve been stalking that neighborhood for a new house for months. This place seems to be right around the corner from Darnell’s/that new coffee place and a couple blocks to metro. I’m looking for a “condo alternative” where you actually interact with neighbors and can have some private outdoor space, and these little mini-houses seem perfect.

      • Yes, between the rock-throwing projects across the street and the wasteland surrounding Howard U, I’ll stick by that claim. It is getting better, particularly with the Sherman Ave Streetscape, but slowly. I see more broken car window glass within a few blocks of there than I see anywhere else in the city. FWIW, I live along Sherman about 10 blocks north of there, and would gladly take my location over this location.

      • For all those commenting on the neighborhood. I actually live on that block and it is a phenomenal location. You know your neighbors, very close to all the U street bars/restaurants, and theres a lot of growth potential with a number of vacant lots across the street. Crime is no worse than any other area of U street and/or columbia heights.

        • Hi Neighbor!

          I don’t live on this block, but I live 100 yards from this house and have to second that it is a great place to live. I moved from a condo building in CH and absolutely love how much friendlier this area is. I’ve had great interactions with neighbors new and old.

          • I live within a block of here and it is my favorite place I’ve lived in this city (and I’ve been all over). I guess maybe it’s not for everyone, but then again, the prices over here seem to indicate that everyone wants to live here, so go figure…

    • Ha! Not that great of a neighborhood? That’s a very valid personal opinion and all, but when we’re talking about what’s a good deal or not, I think the standard needs to be what do most buyers think is a great neighborhood. I think you can also distinguish between neighborhood and location. This is a FANTASTIC neighborhood for all practical purposes. You are 2-3 blocks from the metro, very close to all the amenities that U Street has to offer, including all the very hip, real estate boosting yupster businesses opening up in the area every couple of weeks. The location is kind of crappy comparatively because you are a little rowhouse facing a very busy road. In some ways, a big building makes more sense in these locations because fewer residents are impacted by the traffic. That said, since the streetscape on Sherman came in, the area has more of a neighborhoody feel and I think that it’s only going to be more desirable once the Atlantic Plumbing site is developed.

    • It is expensive, but it is located in a highly desirable location so that how it goes…

  • cute that the stair risers in this house match the exterior color of next door.

  • Anyone know who did the design/build/reno for the place? Particularly the backyard patio. I love it and would love to find someone to do something similar (or consult with) on mine. Any PoP tipsters know? Would be much appreciated!

    • @styglan1dc: my husband and I did the design and he did most of the actual construction. The last owners did all the colors — we actually had it all white. We are both architects – I have my own firm (along with my moonlighting husband) see for contact info — mostly commercial, but can do houses too. Please feel free to contact me!

    • @Marcus Aurelius: Actually the house was on HGTV’s “What You Get for the Money” in 2006 (we heard that it reruns every so often) — but to reiterate what I said to “styglan1dc” — we were the previous owners and designed it – we have our own design firm
      @ “anonymous: the hidden floor storage compartment was inspired by storage on boats 🙂

  • Very cute home. They did a great job with limited space.

    • These homeowners did a great job making the most of small space. They’ve got great taste. My stuff wouldn’t look nearly as nice in this house.

  • There is another house on the same block listed for $475k. A touch smaller with a smaller patio in back. The floor plan is a touch different with the bath on the main floor which shrinks the kitchen, but improves the bedroom size upstairs. Here is a link:

  • After I got past my distaste for having the front door open into the kitchen, I think this house is probably a pretty good deal. It’s really interesting with some very creative use of space, such as the floor storage area and the nooks in the bedroom wall.

    A really appealing and unorthodox renovation, in my opinion, and not a bad deal, especially after reading the comments on the GDON revisited about this neighborhood, albeit a few blocks east.

  • Half a mil for that? wow.

    Sidenote, I love the breastfeeding Boppy on the master bed. Nice touch, person who designed these photos.

  • The kitchen is probably the only sticking point style-wise, but it fits everything else. Really well done, and that nursery is absolutely gorgeous.

  • Excellent little house

  • Although I like the place, adding adjectives does not make it so. Where is the “upscale”? Modern I could agree with, but barely anything is upscale, even if I ignore the fact that the Ikea fairy went on a drunken binge decorating it.

  • Good house. OK renovation (kitchen is a mess). Great location. If JBG ever gets around to doing something with the Atlantic Plumbing space across the street, that neighborhood is going to be fantastic. Glad there will still be some tiny row houses left in the area after 12-14th and U st. is taken over by mega-buildings.

  • Do you know how many young couples would die for a townhouse in this neighborhood at this price? This will be off the market in a few days.

  • This one is also in the area – a little more, but another example of a rowhouse and not a large condo building. It seems like a good deal — too good to be true?

  • For all three in the picture? Sure.

    Then, knock them down and put in a McDonalds (real profit)

  • I think they did a great job with such a small space. I run by this house every day – and I have to say this is an unattractive location. Not only are you adjacent to industrial undeveloped – you are also on an arterial road. The rowhouses are some of the smallest in the city and the devleoper obviously cheaped out.

  • Not sure I would buy it but I give a lot of credit to the designers for squeezing as much out of a small space as possible. This looks like it could have appeared on the show “Small Spaces, Big Design.”

    Funny how many GDoNs in the CH/U Street corridor get panned here but yet are under contract within a week or two of the open houses. Clearly there are a lot of people who think they are getting good deals.

  • I’ve never seen anything like that hidden storage compartment in the floor.

    Other than the IKEA overload, seems like a well-designed use of the space. But still small for $500k.

  • These houses are so small, but I know these are prime properties for people willing to pay the money and live in the city. I happened to pick up the flyer last night for another house in the same block; it is listed at $479K. I was not impressed. I don’t think the neighborhood should be a turn-off, but it’s about perception.

  • Kitchen in front makes sense for a busy, noisy street. The rooms seem small and the colors are ugly, but at that price it would be a good step up from a small apt or condo.

  • Too small for that price. They did their best with the space they had but still too much. Two trendy bars and a music club should not rack up this much of a price tag.

  • Come up to Harvard/Irving/Kenyon/Lamont for a bigger house with a real back yard at 1/2 the price. Walk to U street when you feel like spending $7 on a beer.

    It’ll save your wallet in more ways than one.

    I have a serious question: do people that can buy a $500K house really go to bars so often that they absolutely MUST be within three blocks of them?

    Sort of getting confused about the whole U street mystique. The older I get, the more I think a big part of human nature is deriving value from all of the awesome stuff you could be doing but don’t feel like doing at the moment. For instance you COULD walk two blocks to Solly’s from here. But you probably will only do that once every two weeks because you are tired from working 60 hours a week at your nonprofit or your rescued pit bull mix needs to be taken for a walk or you are more likely 35 and simply really tired all the time. So why not just walk ten blocks every once in a while and save $200K?

    • I don’t think it’s just about being able to walk 2 blocks for a $7 beer. Being close to this part of U Street means being closer to the metro, being close to a lot of bus lines, being able to grab a cab very easily. It means being in an area that feels vibrant and bustling. It means friends will visit more often because you live in a fun area. It means being close to a lot of other great neighborhoods. And of course there’s more to do on U Street than just drink. These are not priorities for everyone, of course, but they are for many people. This is also a hot area for renters, so you can rent out the house easily if you need to.

    • Redfin currently lists a whopping total of three sub 300K properties around this place. I don’t think you understand what the DC housing market is like right now.

  • This listing makes me sooo glad that I bought my 3200 sq ft., 5 bedroom 4 bath, house (with parking) a block from the Columbia Heights metro for $380k.

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