Good Deal or Not? “unique lightwell” edition


This house is locate at 25 Todd Place, NE:


The listing says:

“Great, fully renovated home in Hot Eckington! 4BRs (3 up, 1 down) 3.5BAs. Open Main Level w/ high ceilings, exposed brick wall, new floors, Kit oversize island, additional Fam Rm off back, rear deck & 1-car PKG. Full LL w/ Rec Room, BR & Full Bath. Upper Level w/ huge Master Suite, good closets, 2 more light-filled BRs, unique lightwell. Close to Bloomingdale & more!”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $699,900.

51 Comment

  • this seems way over priced. The home is done well, looks like your standard flip reno. But 700k for Eckington? That area isn’t really close (as in walking distance) to much of anything, it’s not terribly safe and i can’t imagine the demographic who would be in the market for a house this size and price wanting to live there.

    • Actually I walked by this the other day and it is a pretty cute and quiet neighborhood. It’s close to everything Bloomingdale has to offer, though no metro. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get that price.
      Does anyone know what a “lightwell” is? I have never heard that term…

      • It’s like an air shaft, but for light. It means that the buildings are attached in the front, but the adjoining walls are not one against the other (i.e., they are a few feet apart and allow for windows/light) as you move deeper into the house. You can see it in the picture of the kitchen sink.

      • no metro?
        its walkable to the metro.
        also, bike paths, bike lanes, walkable to downtown, and on multiple bus lines.

        • A mile down Rhode Island to the Metro, not exactly the most pleasant of walks.

          • I know the local owners love to harp about how safe it is, but there’s no way in hell my girlfriend would feel safe walking home from the metro at night in this area without getting sexually harassed or worse.
            That’s my yard stick for figuring out if an area “safe enough”. I can’t rationalize spending $700K if my neighborhood doesn’t even meet that measly standard.

          • the bus. takes you to less than a block from here.
            stop being scared of the bus people.

          • i know maps are hard, but its actually closer to the ny ave metro and the shaw metro than it is to RIA.
            not that people really care about facts of a neighborhood they don’t know.

          • Anonymous 6:43pm,

            Rhode Island and NoMa are actually the same distance on their shortest routes (both .9 mi and a 19 minute walk). It seems you are not as knowledgeable about maps or your neighborhood. I assume people were using Rhode Island metro b/c it is the EXACT SAME distance and more of a straight shot.

          • As I fiddle more with this ‘map thing’ I come to realize that Shaw is also .9 and actually comes out to an 18 minute walk. Interesting, maybe you can teach us all how to use Google Maps.

    • agreed 700K seems like a lot for that area – but i’m currently looking and it’s not unusual to find 700K homes in Eckington, Ledroit Park, Truxton Circle, all those areas that are still “up and coming”. the truth is that what is overpriced is ALL of washington DC. sigh.

      • Agreed – (nearly) ALL of DC is enjoying a healthy sellers market at the moment. We’ll see about the lasting effects of the government shutdown, however.

        • A 25 basis point increase in the Fed Funds rate is going to end this sellers market real quick.

          • yeah, will be interesting to see what happens pretty soon here. the irony is that we currently own, so that even if prices on our dream homes drop, so do the prices we can get for the current space. DAMN YOU MACROECONOMICS.

          • The only way to get that “dream home” is to make more money outside of real estate. Yeah, you might lock in a huge profit if you bought and sold your current place at the right time, but your “dream home” also went up astronomically in value during that same period. Likewise, with a drop in prices. The only way to realize a real gain on your profits is to take your money and leave the DMV for a cheaper area.
            As for the 25 basis points, it’s not even that much of a rate hike. But the psychological shock will be jarring to the housing market. Everyone has painted Yellen as a dove, but she’s going to be the person who MUST raise rates, as she’ll be in the position for the next 4 years.

          • “The only way to get that ‘dream home’ is to make more money outside of real estate.”
            For most of us, real estate is the only avenue where we’re likely to make any money. And since prices in the D.C. area keep on rising, for most people, the only ways to “upgrade” are:
            – Partner up with or marry someone, so as to have the force of two incomes.
            – Move from a more established neighborhood to a less established neighborhood.

    • This house is about a block and a half from First and Rhode Island NW, so Boundary Stone, Rustik, Red Hen, Showtime, etc. It is also less than a mile from the Shaw, NoMa, and Rhode Island Ave metro stops, and steps from the G8 and the 80 bus lines.

      Regarding noise, I live on this block, and cannot hear anything from Rhode Island and only rarely the sirens from the North Cap tunnel. It’s a very quiet street.

      On the open floor plan, I saw a film that was partially shot in my house before it was ever renovated/flipped (back in the 1980s), and the one room all the way to the kitchen was already in place. It may be that the houses in this area didn’t have separate dining rooms to begin with, the way other DC bay-front rowhouses sometimes do (although I am not certain as I don’t have the original plans from 1905).

      Safety wise, there are no neighborhoods in DC (or any major city) that are “terribly safe,” I agree, but at least in terms of armed robberies, I did some research about four years ago and found that the armed robbery rates in Eckington are lower than those in Adams Morgan, Dupont, or Georgetown.

      As to whether this is a a good deal or not, I have no idea, but I am very curious to see what this place and several others that are being renovated at the moment within a block or two will go for!

      • Comparing sheer numbers of robberies in Eckington with neighborhoods that have 20 times the foot traffic is not a good way of determining safety. I think the area is getting much better but still would not be super comfortable after dark on the walk to the metro or downtown (as Anonymous 1:30 pointed out)

      • “Safety wise, there are no neighborhoods in DC (or any major city) that are “terribly safe,””
        yes there are.

      • Our house at R st ne, similar to this one, has a separate dining room.

  • They are asking quite a lot, but it seems to be a much better deal than the Hamilton NW house that sold for $680k (see post from earlier today by PoP).

  • Looks nice enough, but I’m surprised that a developer who was flipping the house anyway wouldn’t bother to add a handrail (or handrails) for the stairs between the basement and the kitchen.

  • That is a terrible corner. Bad deal.

    • Terrible corner? I love when people make these sweeping statements without having a clue what they’re talking about. If you had you’d know that Todd is a really small street and that house number 25 is about halfway down the block. You won’t even hear noise from the N.Cap & RI intersection. I have no trouble believing the seller will get close to asking.

  • Another house taking the concept of open floor plan to the unpleasant extreme. The first floor is a tunnel. If they’d left (or even widened if need be) the original doorways separating the rooms it wouldn’t have impeded flow or openness but would divide the space visually into more pleasant, human-sized areas. Area rugs just don’t achieve the same effect.
    Love the light shaft, though, I wish more row houses had them (though I don’t know what it means for noise from the neighbors, esp in open window weather).

    • An open window is an open window vis-a-vis noise. With that said, if it’s set up similarly to my house, the light shaft does not share window space with the neighbors.

      • If I’m judging the layout right, it looks like this one has windows from both houses into the same space. See the picture of the view from the upstairs bathroom – unless the shaft is down the middle of the house, some of those windows have to be the next house. It’s harder to tell from the shots of the dining room, but in pictures 5 and 12 you can see window frames that have to be the neighbor’s.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I agree about the open floor plan. When I’m entertaining I like to be able to close the door to the kitchen with all the dirty dishes from cooking. I’ll wash them later when my guests aren’t around and I don’t want to look at them. When it’s just me, I still don’t want to look at the kitchen unless I’m in it.

  • The renovation is nice and I love the bay windows. But being 9 blocks away from the closest Metro station would be a negative to me. And being located 1 block off of two major thoroughfares, I would think that it would probably be pretty noisy.

    It would be a better deal if the basement unit were rentable, but there is no downstairs kitchen and the ceilings look too low for that.

    • I would think that location would be a selling point, not a detraction. Very, very close to 2 major routes, but not ON either one of them. If driving noise from a block away is a problem, then that’s going to rule out large swaths of the city.

  • Eckington is a great area, and this spot is especially accessible to Bloomingdale. I love the the exposed brick, yes, it’s expensive, but welcome to DC.

  • Amazing photographer. I get annoyed when realtors skip on decent photographs. Property is decent & will probably get near asking because the sellers market. I live 2 blocks away & never had any issues in the last 5 years living here.

  • different strokes for different folks, but i wouldn’t feel comfortable walking from either the NY Ave or Rhode Island metro to this home late at night alone. While, that is a product of living in a city, i think that there are similarly sized homes in safer neighborhoods that are around this price point (while they may not be as plentiful). Neighborhoods such as Petworth or Columbia Heights. Or i would opt for something cheaper near the H Street corridor. I really don’t see much difference in terms of safety between the two neighborhoods, but the prices are lower and would probably be a better long term investment given all of the development along H.

    • Agreed, especially on your point about H Street. With the street car, that area is a much better bet than Eckington in terms of both investment potential and safety issues.
      It’s also easy for men to say “I’ve never had a problem here!” When you’re a woman, it’s a different ballgame. Especially hoofing it from the metro or bus stop at night.

      • +1 to point #2.

      • I am a woman, and I walk the length of RI from where it begins at Connecticut Ave up to N. Cap. In the winter, this is after dark. The stretch in which I am uncomfortable is 11th Street to 7th. Thus, from the Shaw Metro to N. Cap., I feel as safe as I do in other parts of the city. I’m not saying that anyone’s discomfort is unjustified because we feel what we feel. I am also not saying that the area is perfectly safe; one must always be on alert. But I think most of the perception of Eckington, at least this side of Eckington, is still driven by out of date hearsay. There is still large development potential on all sides really. However, priced as it is, this house should not be bought as an investment so much as some place that will be somebody’s home for at least the middle range time period.

        • the best walk to walk from this to the shaw metro would be to walk down RIA, turn right on florida, cross at the howard and walk down 7th to the north entrance.

          its actually a really nice walk.
          or take the bus.

      • +1000 If it is not a place where I would feel safe stumbling home from the bar at 2AM, then it is not a place I want to live.

        • There is no place you should feel safe stumbling home drunk at 2am.

          • I’d say 95% of the U.S. is safe to stumble home drunk late at night without getting randomly mugged/raped/killed by another human.

          • you talkin crazy talk. there are plenty of safe places.

          • If you are stumbling drunk, you are not safe, impaired judgment and all. Granted you are just as much a menace as you might yourself face. If you think this is any kind of good metric, you are incredibly immature.

    • I personally think this neighborhood is safer than Petworth (or at least as safe for sure).
      I don’t know how much time you’ve spent looking at RE recently, but H St. seems to be more expensive than Eckington at this moment. Same with Petworth – look at the recent GDoN revisited that went for about the same price as this unit. Except that house isn’t close or convenient to anything, while this gets you walking distance to numerous metros + Bloomingdale. Different strokes for different folks, for sure.

      • That Hamilton St. house is a little bit further (~2 more minutes) walking from Ft. Totten than this place is from RI Ave or NY Ave. The two properties aren’t that different in their distances from Metrorail.

    • I live in this area. I don’t feel comfortable taking the Metro at night. But, a very convenient bus route is a block from me, and my work commute is now better than when I lived in Dupont. Shrug. It’s not always about the Metro.

  • A) “Not close to anything” yet less than two blocks away from some of the newest and most popular bars in the city…

    B) I haven’t cared about being close to the metro since I moved into my first apartment when I was 22. I quickly learned the bus system and never looked back. Plus, if you really care that much, you could get to the Shaw metro within 10 minutes I bet, or there is a Bike Share literally a block away from this house.

    C) $700,000 is becoming standard for living within a block or two radius of 1st & T these days.

    Comment on the interior, the layout, the size, whatever, but the complaints about the location are so far off base it’s nuts.

    For my part, I think it’s done really beautifully. Obviously it’s always hard to tell if a renovation is half-assed or not from photos, but I think it’s a pretty lovely house and you’d be hard pressed to find a nice 4-bedroom place near restaurants, etc. for much less.

  • I would be very surprised if this doesn’t get asking. $700k for a house is difficult to come by in DC. It already reflects a discount for the location. The same thing in Bloomingdale would be at least $100k more.

  • what do you all think about this place as compared to another nearby(ish) but in a kind of weird part of Bloomingdale

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