Good Deal or Not? “beautiful mahogany wood trim” edition

This house is located at 3314 New Hampshire Avenue, NW:

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The listing says:

“Don’t miss this opportunity to own a unique home in the heart of Columbia Heights, ready for a buyer’s finishing touches, spacious 3BR/2BA brick home features beautiful mahogany wood trim and gleaming refinished floors throughout, fresh paint, huge windows, high ceilings, rear balconies, separate dining room, fireplace in living room, partially finished basement, walking distance to Metro/shopping”

You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/1.5 bath is going for $345,000.

28 Comment

  • Good deal. Needs some work but it looks livable, great deal for a DIYer. My complaint though is with the blurry photos? Why do people settle for such crap realtors who don’t even bother to post pics that show the house in the most flattering way?

    • +1.

      Even if it’s a foreclosure, those are still some really poor-quality photos. They look like the quality of photos my cell phone might have taken… in 2005.

      • Seriously. If nothing else, it’s a lousy advertisement for Keller Williams Preferred Properties. Why would I use them when they do such shoddy work?

  • This house is a foreclosure, which explains the very low price (the bank is trying to generate a lot of interest and start a bidding war) and also the crappy photos. I’d guess it will go for around $450-500k, depending on how much work needs to be done. I hope whoever buys it keeps the original woodwork.

  • If I were in the market, I’d already have my RE agent on the phone.

  • Sadly it will go to an all-cash buyer who will gut anything original right out of it and flip or go condo conversion.

    • Thankfully that won’t – or shouldn’t – happen with this house as it is only open to owner-occupied offers.

  • Mahogony? I don’t think so.

    • nope…that is “real Mahogany” (TM)….stain.

    • Have you seen the house in person? If you haven’t how would you be able to tell if the wood trim was real mahogany or not from the photos and poor ones at that?

      • The wear on the staircase railing reveals a much lighter wood than mahogany. Also, mahogany is insanely expensive and it would not have been used on trim, let along in this house.

        • Hey, I’m not saying you’re wrong and I know mahogany is expensive. I was impressed if you could tell through the poorly-taken photos. Also, naked mahogany is probably lighter than many people would expect. All that said, probably a decent educated guess to call it in to question.

      • Houses built around here, in that time frame, were generally trimmed with chestnut. Which is cool in itself, given that the american chestnut that so dominated the landscape is now all but extinct.

        Also, mahogany has always been sought-after for its fine grain and good color, for use in furniture and artisanal work, so it’s pretty unlikely that a rowhouse built on spec would use such a valuable material when such a relatively inexpensive one, such as chestnut, was easily available and just as pretty.

        So yeah, educated guess calls BS on the “mahogany” claim.

        • Its definitely not mahogany. I can tell even from those terrible pictures.

          The mantels and at least a few doors are quartersawn oak, which was commonly used, but a couple steps above “normal” and its beautiful when finished well and really terrible when finished badly. It was prized (and still is) for the tiger striping and the way it pops with certain finishes.

          The process for making quartersawn oak results in more waste than regular cuts, so the price is elevated for that reason.

          The trim is probably not quartersawn oak. It is probably stained oak or ash.

          Honestly, home building hasnt changed that much in the past 100-110 years. Once houses were mass produced, reproduceable parts were used, and “builder grade” started to become a thing. Builder grade finishes, when it comes to wood, is a cut above the rest but that is a function of the wood being old growth vs what you get even from nice lumber yards today. The rest of the workmanship is hit or miss – there have been some shockingly poor decisions made by the original craftsman that I’ve seen in the few houses i’ve seen the inside of in DC.

    • I don’t know how to put this, but this house is kind of a big deal. People know it. It comes with many leather-bound books, and it smells of rich mahogany.

  • I hate when they say 2 baths and it is 1.5 baths, big difference.

  • This place will be sold within minutes.

  • Could anyone speak to the process of this home being foreclosed and bank-owned. So 1.5 years ago this was bought or obtained for 51 thousand. 1.5 years later it’s on the market for almost 7x what it was obtained. When a house is foreclosed and becomes bank owned, does the bank try to sell it for market-rate or a random price and hope to recoupe its loss on the original mortgage loan? Want to try to understand how these things work.

    • Yes. I bought a foreclosure. It had come down about $50K in price because it wasn’t selling. Then it was in my price range, and I had a little negotiating session before we agreed on a price. I think they recouped their loss and maybe about $20K more.

  • Great house, great deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s bid up. It’s certainly liveable, and you can stretch the upgrades out over time. I hope it doesn’t go to a flipper.

  • WANTWANTWANTWANTWANTWANTWANTWANTWANT! SOOOOO much potential for a beautiful home.

  • Seems like a good deal in a good location.

  • blurry pics are flattering in this case. in real life, the house needs more work than it looks like in the pics. the trim is in many places not in as good shape as it looks like in the blurry pics. agree, great for a DIYer. and also agree, will prob see a bidding war & go to a developer.

  • I did go see it in person. The fridge is dead, the kitchen in general needs some help, as do the bathrooms. But the wood work–whatever wood it is–is beautiful.

    HOWEVER, the agent was so frazzled after receiving calls from FORTY different parties, that she stopped answering calls all together.

    In short, this house is going to be bid up at least over $450K, but likely up to $500K. Condos around the corner are going for $450, and this is a whole house.

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