Good Deal or Not? “Nicely updated” edition

1605 Marion Street Northwest

This house is located at 1605 Marion Street, Northwest:


The listing says:

“Nicely updated three bedroom, two and one-half bath semi-detached three level Victorian home with beautiful hardwood floors and a finished English basement. Sought-after condo alternative in a sensational in-town location convenient to Metro, bus lines, shopping and the new O Street Market. Sold in ~As Is~ condition.Estate sale being sold “as Is”

You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/2.5 bath is going for $591,088.

22 Comment

  • Something is terribly wrong with this place…mold? foundation?

  • Ya, nicely updated in the 80s

  • $600,000 for a barely livable shell…

    • But a really great metro location. The list price is weird — why so many sig figs?

    • How is this a barely livable shell? It’s not nice or attractive but it has a functioning kitchen and bathrooms as well as bedrooms. It needs work but it is definitely a place you could live in and work on during renovations. It hardly qualifies as a shell.

      Damn, tho, who took those pictures? They are terrible.

    • The words that sprang to my mind while I looked at the pictures were not “barely livable shell,” but “real person house”–something for folks who bemoan all the open-concept flip jobs. You could live in this and fix it up.

      Re the asking price: I wonder if there’s some sort of numerological explanation–I think 88 is lucky in Chinese culture.

    • Totally liveable – just close your eyes when you look at the pink walls and black toilet. This is a GREAT deal & will go well over asking price. Mark my words.

  • Yeah, livable for awhile, but a gut job in the future — probably old wiring and systems.

  • “Semi-detached” might technically be true… but it doesn’t seem like something you’d want to trumpet when the reality is “maybe 6 feet from the wall of the next house, and 1 foot from that house’s balconies.”

    Seems like you’d get all of the disadvantages of a semi-detached house — presumably higher heating/cooling bills from not having a house next door as insulation — with few or none of the advantages. Like, you’ve got windows… but you can’t really draw the blinds unless you don’t mind the neighbors looking in.

  • so let’s see… ac window unit – probably means no central ac and i think this summer proves that is probably a necessity in this city, as someone mentioned wiring probably needs work, new flooring, new paint, new windows, kitchen/baths need updates – could find plumbing and/or mold issues in that process. but that said – if you want to live here/do updates yourself, it’s probably a good deal provided you can handle the reno process and want to stay for awhile to make bank when you sell in 5-10 years. i *detest* the shoddy flip jobs and hope someone buys this to live in and not to develop/flip.

    • The last picture shows an outside AC unit (maybe that was the point, rather than the empty plastic bottle litter?). And if anything, THIS summer proves you don’t need an AC in DC. Most summers, on the other hand…..
      I wouldn’t myself describe this as “nicely updated,” but it’s certainly not a gut job. Paint the pink walls, swap out the curtains, take down the busy chandelier, and replace the black toilet seat and you’re good to go. That’s a weekend and a few hundred bucks. As time and money allows, pull up the turquoise wall to wall (which has been nicely protecting the wood floors that are probably underneath), update a bathroom sink, work on the kitchen. Barring major structural issues, of course.
      I also really, really hope that an actual person buys this and turns it into the home they want. I’d hate to see a flipper get it and turn it into a boring, featureless space they think people want.

    • We’ve done just fine using only window units in our rowhouse for the past severn summers. Yes, we do have central air on our “do someday” list, but it clearly isn’t a top priority.

      • I lived 20 years in Mt.Pleasant with window units in the bedroom and living room. Certainly do-able and not a reason to not buy a house.

    • I don’t get the snooty nose on window units. May not be aesthetically appealing but they work just fine. I have 2 window units in my rowhouse and they’ve kept my house cool and comfortable this summer, last summer, summer before.

  • Great deal! Great location with everything intact. Definitely not my taste, but for that price in that location, you can move in and paint it/fix it up as you have the money to do so. This is the kind of place I was looking for when I was house-hunting. I bet this bids up quite a bit, even with the Bepto-Bismal colored walls.

  • I agree. Good deal for a normal person. Bad deal for a flipper (too much for a gut job), and bad deal for someone who wants a flip (which are most of the people who bemoan flips, ironically). But good deal for anyone who wants a normal liveable house that could be made nice enough with a little paint and possibly a trip to the flooring store.

  • I can smell it just from the photos.

  • justinbc

    It needs a lot of work for my tastes, but for that price it would have been easy to swing. I would definitely had considered this had it been on the market when we were looking, especially being so close to the Metro.

  • Couple of things about the house (I am a neighbor):

    It was owned by a sweet old lady who was basically a shut in for the last decade. She raised something like 7 kids in the house (I think her long passed husband was a former DC MPD officer). She lived on the lowest floor and family would stay in the upper portion from time to time.

    You will need to replace the roof and re-do the central air (it has a unit but it does not work and has not worked for a long time). No parking and no back yard (and no option to build one).

    Check how much the house next door sold for last August…house was in better shape.

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