Good Deal or Not? “DC’s first residential green roof” edition (reader request)

This carriage house is located at 1413 Swann St, NW:

View Larger Map

The listing says:

“Originally built as a garage, the carriage house has evolved into a wonderful, reno loft-style 2BR, 2BA + office. Inside you will find a bright open floor plan in which everything has been upgraded. kitchen w/ Viking, Sub Zero & Miele appliances including a built-in coffee system and steam oven. Gar pkg & one of DC’s first residential green roof”

You can see more photos here.

This 2 bed/2 bath is going for $735,000.

72 Comment

  • I am headed to the bank now!

    I love the style, although it is not for everyone. I couldn’t find the square footage anywhere…kind of a funky lay out, but I think it is part of the charm.

  • The green roof is about to lose all it’s sunlight due to the building going up right next it along 14th Street. I can see why the owner wants to sell and not be in the back shadow of that monstrosity.

    The party was good while it lasted.

    • actually, that buidling is already up and the sunlight is completely unaffected. I live right in front of this place and always admired it. The downside is that it is in the alley, and does not border on any actual street.

      • The roof and building did not loose any light because of the building on Swann. It was actually surprising! This home is a great size and in a great location!!!!!! With parking, the square footage and roof deck. I think it is under priced. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it sell for close to $799,999

        • you must be the realtor or seller too.

          • Actually I am a realtor and I am a neighbor. I think I have a pretty good understanding of the market and the property. I guess we shall just have to wait and see what it sells for. As a neighbor I can tell you they have had group after group in there today. That must mean something?

    • LOL I know the owners and that’s not why they are selling at all. They, as well as the rest of the neighborhood are looking forward to the new development. You must be anxious to move though since you seem to desire more of a suburban strip mall environment. Happily, the NIMBYs lost and we aren’t getting any of that type of development.

  • Beautiful! Makes me wish I made a lot more money so I could afford a place like this. Think they would lower the price by 50% for just the right buyer who would take care of their baby? 🙂

    • Just get yourself a husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend, or really good friend to buy it with you! I actually think this price is insanely low. We only found one house in this price range in Logan Circle, and it was really really small.

  • claire

    Put me down on the loving it side too! Interesting style (though the master bathroom is a bit… minimalist), and amazing location.

  • That second bedroom doesn’t look big enough to hold an actual bed. Maybe a twin bed. But definitely a cool space. I would be worried, though, that it would be cold in the winter.

    • We saw a house with similar stats– right off 14th (S Street), tastefully renovated, same exact price– back in 2010. But it didn’t have any outdoor space and only 1.5 baths.

      Like this house, it was questionable whether even a twin could fit in the second bedroom. If it weren’t for that we might have made an offer. The house went under contract in under a week.

      So I’d be surprised if this one isn’t under contract already. There’s not much housing stock for buyers with a $700-800k budget in Logan Circle.

      • Ok….this person should fess up. He/she is either the seller or realtor.

        • Sorry to discredit your conspiracy theory, but someone who disagrees with you doesn’t necessarily have to have a personal stake in the property.

          I’m merely someone who was house-hunting from 2009-2011, during which time I saw hundreds of homes throughout the city. My partner likes Logan Circle so we had it on our radar, but pretty much everything in this area is either a condo or over a million dollars (or both). In addition to the property I mentioned we did see a lovely shell for $699k, but the amount of work it required was way beyond what we were willing to take on.

          We ended up buying a much better place in Capitol Hill, and we don’t regret it one bit, but for Logan Circle this is a great price. Even if it is in an alley.

    • I saw it, the guest BR has a murphy bed built in the wall. It is a small guest room, not really appropriate for a permanent BR. I did not find the layout weird at all, actually a really good use of space. And, the place was crawling with buyers, one of whom was told by the listing agent that they are considering offers next Wednesday. This will sell for more than 735, possibly way more. And given what’s out there, I can see why.

  • Add me to the ‘love it’ group. It has a lot of character that all the new condos going up in the area lack. Although I would definitely pay extra to have someone check out that green roof before buying, as I have no idea what kind of maintenance those need, and I imagine your average home inspector wouldn’t know either.

  • Are you kidding me?!?!?!?! Over 700K for this?? This place is not even on Swann Street. It is in an alley!!

  • this isn’t even on 1 alley it is on 2. 1447 swan and 1445 S both sold within the last 2 years for 445K and 345K. Granted work might have needed to be done. Also 1452 T just sold a few months ago for around 700K and is about 1200 sq foot. No way would i pay this for that.

    • So a place that is 200 sq ft smaller, on a busier street, and without the intriguing roof sold for $35K less, and you’re saying this is overpriced? Hmm, ok. I really don’t know if it is, but I don’t think you’re making much of a case with your “example”.

    • +1. This “house” is waaaaaaaay overpriced!

  • Since it has “evolved” once already, I would worry about what it might turn into next! I’d hate to buy it and have it evolve into a bungalow or log cabin or something.

    I don’t understand those tall cabinets in the kitchen – eliminates a lot of counter space. Also, how do you wash your face in that narrow trough sink without bonking your head on the faucet? Otherwise I like it.

    • The building can’t evolve into a completely different architectural style. It’s use within it’s brick walls could evolve into whatever the zoning laws allow it to but you can’t just tear it down or change the shape of it.

      • I’m guessing it’s late afternoon and your sense of humor might not be at it’s sharpest. That was a joke. i.e. a carriage house cannot “evolve” into a loft.

        • In defense of Alley Cat, I have to say that the original “joke” didn’t come across as a joke to me either. So I think it might be the joke-telling ability that’s at issue here, not Alley Cat’s sense of humor.

    • Re: counter space — I saw this house and that island is seriously like 14 feet long. The counter is bizarrely high (it’s like 8 inches thick) but the counter space isn’t an issue. The kitchen is maybe one of the nicest kitchens I’ve ever seen.

  • I think it is a pretty cool space but putting out that kind of money to live in an alley would concern me. I would need to be a lot more educated about the area to give an educated opinion about whether it is a good deal or not.

  • They had a bee hive on the roof! (We have one too!) Hooray for urban beekeepers!

  • Overpriced or not…who are all these people that have $750k to blow on a house? I mean I know some people do, but the price of rent and housing in this city across all areas…I just don’t understand.

    • My partner and I have moderate salaries for DC (mine’s $75k and hers is a little more). We paid $775k for our home, and the mortgage payments have been more than affordable. Once we refinance we’ll probably be paying less for housing than the renters in our neighborhood are.

      Coming up with the downpayment did require some sacrifices. In order to save the required 20% we had to live in Virginia and commute 3-4 hours a day for several years. It wasn’t fun but the cheap rent allowed us to save up that money.

      It would be hard for a single person who wasn’t fabulously wealthy to buy something like this. But it’s certainly possible for a lot of DC couples.

    • A lot of $750k houses (not this one, but others in the city) have parts that can be rented out also. So a single person who doesn’t make 6 figures can still afford it if he has good credit and has a tenant.

    • Get married/have a partner. And ask your parents for the downpayment (as 100% of my friends did who are homeowners under the age of 35).

      That’s what most younger people in DC are doing.

      • You guys are approaching from the perspective of a first-time homebuyer. Someone who just sold their previous home could use the equity towards this one.

      • This comment reminds me of Mitt Romney’s suggestion to college kids who don’t have the money to start a business: Just borrow it from your parents!

        D’oh! If only everyone’s parents had tens–if not hundreds–of thousands of dollars lying around.

        • You’re right that most people’s parents don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to give them. But a lot of couples in DC have a least one parent who can.

          The person wasn’t asking how the average American can afford a $750k house, but rather how a lot of people in DC are able to do it. Money from parents is one way. Savings, equity from a former home, and FHA financing are other ways.

          • Yup, I totally agree with you. Most young Americans are not straight up buying a $750K place. My friends who are buying places tend to be 1.) married or coupled and 2.) have no problem affording the mortgage payment, they just don’t have enough scratch for the deposit.

            Also, DC – like NYC – exists in a weird bubble. There’s A LOT of children of very wealthy people in this town. And if you’re a first time buyer, you can typically get lower downpayment requirements to get you in that first home. So asking $20K from each side of the family, plus $10K on your own as a couple, can easily get you into a $500K+ place if you have good credit.

  • Can someone please explain me what’s so bad about living in an alley? Is it a safety issue? I personally only see advantages: less noise and traffic compared to the main road.

    • +1 yes, can someone explain?

      • 1. Trash for one. My alley smells like a hobo’s armpit because of everyones trash cans. This place is surrounded on multiple sides, trash cans filled to overflowing with every self important hipsters dog crap (Eww, why should I carry it to my trash can?).

        2. Despite what you say, this alley is a frequent cross cut for drivers so there is quite a bit of regular car traffic.

        3. The fact that you are looking at the ass end of every house around you. The backs of homes (look at the pic above) are consistantly ugly. In an apt building you are typically above it. I don’t care how trashy your street is, atleast there are some tree boxes, trees and the front of homes are architecutrally nicer to look at and typically landscaped.

        I could go on but what it really comes down to is why would you pay premium top of the market prices at ~550 sq/ft to live in someones alley?

      • rats. big ones.

  • I love love love love that bathroom!

  • PoP – I’d love it if you could re-post this once the sales price is known. It’d be nice to show the critics what this gem sells for. I know prices are high in DC but some of the comments make me wonder how long these nay sayers have actually lived here. Maybe they’re from waaaaay outside the beltway?

  • Put me down in the camp of people who sees this easily going for asking or higher. Lot of folks who subscribe to Dwell. And BBQs on that roof would just be too cool.

  • Love it! If I could afford it, I would be writing the check now. The minimalist design is so striking. You really don’t see places that unique very often. The roof access and garden is a nice plus. And location x 3-being walking distance to U Street, Adams Morgan, Logan Circle and Dupont Circle is awesome. Also, it’s a standalone house, and parking is included, which takes a lot of the headache out of living near U street. The alley location is not ideal, but in such a high-traffic location, it is much better than living on a main street.

  • LOVE THIS PLACE. A little too small though for that price.

  • whatever someone says about the price, we can look at the carriage house on 12th and S that recenty sold in 4 days for 699k. Same size, only half of it was underground. This appears priced for a bidding war to me.

  • anyone thinking this will not go for more is crazy. this is so unique. it will go for WAY above asking.

  • Agreed. I have a friend who put in a purely insane bid (money and terms) and did not get it. We’ll see what it went for but I suspect POP mis-listed this by not calling it house porn. I went to the madhouse that was the openhouse and have to say, while it was a little industrial and unfinished for my taste, it would be a really, really great place to live and the owners deserve what they get for having the vision and followthrough to do this.

  • Love this! Pity I just moved!

    • I guess someone owes “Another Neighbor” a drink. I know this sold and closed in warp speed but 8 offers and an as is cash sale, makes me wonder whether a developer bought it to build condos or something

  • Went for $895K (as reported on Urban Turf.) Insanity.

Comments are closed.