Good Deal or Not? “gorgeous light fixtures” edition (reader request)

This house is located at 1919 9 1/2 Street, NW:

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The listing says:

“Fantastic 3 BR home in the heart of U St! 1 block to METRO and U St restaurants. Exposed brick, wide-plank hardwoods throughout, gorgeous light fixtures, renovated open layout kitchen w/ stainless appliances. New stone patio, fence, central AC, new roof, gutters & skylight all in the last 4 yrs. Double pane, high-efficiency windows & doors. Freshly painted exterior.”

You can see photos here.

This 3 bed/1.5 bath is going for $569,900.

35 Comment

  • To good to be true?

  • Looks like an awesome house, price, and location. Plus it would be cool to live on a “1/2” street.

  • Wow. I’m a fan.

  • Here’s what I love, the address as denoted as a 1/2 street and the patio out back. Otherwise not jazzed about the place. It’s not bad just run-of-the-average. It does look pretty dark to me, especially on the first floor in the living/tv/sitting area. Nothing stood out to me in terms of gorgeous light fixtures. Am wondering about the bedroom with guitar in there, is it an actual br? didn’t see a window and it didn’t look like there was because room looked dark. If there was a window, I’d assume to see some lightness. Not sure. Another thing, why do they say Logan community on the redfin listing? Is U and 10th considered logan?

  • Nice location, but DC had this place assessed at 449K in 2011. I don’t really think the value has gone up THAT much to justify the 569K cost. It’s a 112 year old town home.

    For that price I would’ve expected a better countertop in the kitchen.

    • The tax assessment value isn’t the same as an appraisal value.

      • Agreed. The only thing the assessment is good for is how high your taxes are. You want the lowest assessment possible always as it has no correlation to your appraised value or market value.

    • Although a 120 jump in tax assessment in 1 year is a lot, you’d be surprised by the jump in assessments that the city places on some properties, even without external visual improvements. It is shocking!

  • Great deal. People gotta remember when they compare to condos that a townhouse doesn’t have inflatable condo fees. This is the same effective cost as a $650,000 condo.

    • That makes it a worse deal. 650 for a place that doesn’t have 3 real br but really is 2.5?

      • No, it is a better deal. You can buy more house as if this were a condo you would have the fees to pay on top of the mortgage.

        • OK, you still haven’t convinced me or I’m not getting your point. Are you saying this is undervalued and should be valued at 650 because it’s a SFH and you don’t have to pay the inflatable condo fees? I actually thought this was priced high, considering it’s not really a 3 br, it’s dark, and I don’t think it comes with parking. Given how the area is for RE and it has some pluses (location for sure), it’s not surprising that it has been snapped up. If this were a condo and you made your argument, I would get it. Since this is a SFH, how do you get more house? The listing is as is, the house doesn’t grow or shrink according the what a similarly-priced condo (with fees) would be. Unless you are saying potential buyer could look elsewhere for a house in area with more space? I’m sorry if I’m slow today but your point isn’t clear. Like I said, if you said it in the reverse (if this were a condo with a monthly fee) then your point would make sense.

          • The OP did say it in reverse. You could only get a $500K condo (or whatever the amount would be) for the same effective price as this house.

    • Spoken like someone who doesn’t own a home.

      When you own a home you own the home’s maintenance, which is guaranteed to net out over time to be the same as condo fees.

      I’ll never understand what people think condo fees go to. It’s not like the developer pockets them. They go into a fund that is used to maintain and manage the property. Without this fund, you get to pay those out of pocket.

      • But some of the condo fees are still going for the property management company’s overhead.

        And having a condo doesn’t mean that you don’t run into maintenance costs; it just means that you don’t have to shoulder the costs of the elevator, roof, exterior walls, landscaping (if any), etc. yourself. For anything else — broken appliances, windows needing to be repaired, broken HVAC system (if each condo unit has an individual one), clogged toilet — you’re on your own.

        • Uh, regarding roof, elevator or other big-time renos, each condo owner could also be on the line, if not enough in the reserves. They could slap you with a special assessment (those are pretty).

        • And you’re on the hook for legal costs the condo association might incur. My friend had to pay a few thousand, shortly after buying her condo, to cover a lawsuit the landscapers filed when the condo association didn’t pay them for work they did (before she bought the place).

      • “What? I need a new roof?”

        Sure wish I’d saved a couple hundred dollars a month for that!

    • I think Walbridge Guy’s example was backwards — I’m assuming he meant that, if you factor in condo fees, a house that’s $570K has the same effective monthly cost as a condo that’s, say, $480K.

    • Anon 2:30 pm and textdoc are right. I said it backwards. The monthly cost of $570k condo is the same as a $650k house. What I should have said is this house costs the same as a $500k condo.

      To eric_in_ledroit’s point, it’s not as if maintenance of a condo is only the condo fee. If the sink breaks in your condo the condo fee doesn’t cover that. You’re on the hook for maintenance *and* the condo fee. This is a real cost even if you maintain it’s worth it for maintaining the common areas, etc.

      A friend of mine recently had to spend $8000 on a repair to a 1-br+den condo — that’s ON TOP of the condo fee in her building…

  • Having been a homeowner, I can tell you that it’s easy to spend a condo fee’s worth on a house over the course of a year. The bedrooms all seem a bit small which would be my complaint, along with the excessive use of exposed brick. Brick is nice as an accent and works in big, well-lit spaces. Here, it adds to the darkness. Skylights are leaks waiting to happen and awkward to cover. I wonder how noisy the area gets on weekends and how much broken glass one needs to clean up.

    • Depending on what the condo fees are… When I was looking in NW DC I saw some north of $800 a month.

  • Whoa is that a rotary phone in the kitchen! +$250k!

  • Where are these “gorgeous light fixtures?” I noticed only three non-recessed lights. A nice chandelier in the dining room matched with two plugin sconces powered by an extension cord, and ceiling fan.

  • Is a photo of Nellies now a selling point? God help us all.

  • Wow! Really? I’ve seen these homes and they have a tiny footprint. For that kind of money, why not buy a bigger home in Bloomingdale or Eckington with a rental apartment? Live bigger, and have someone help you pay your mortgage. Just saying.

    • As someone who lives in the city and does not have a car, I would definitely pay more to be a block from the metro. Bloomingdale is booming and when I was looking to buy I saw lots of nice places in that neighborhood, but ultimately decided proximity to the metro was more important and bought near the U st metro. Also gives your home more equity in the long run.

  • Nellie’s can get pretty loud, is this place too close?

  • brookland_rez

    I’ve been by that area all the time, never noticed that street. Always thought it was an alley.

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