Good Deal or Not? “literally everything you want” edition

1938 2nd Street Northwest

This house is located at 1938 2nd Street, Northwest:


The listing says:

“Historic Ledroit Park and literally everything you want and need in a city-center home! Completely gutted, two-story addition added to the back and renovated with attention to every detail. Main house has bonus family room off kitchen,amazing master suite, closets galore, chef’s kitchen. Basement turned into a legal two-bedroom rental. Huge yard and detached garage. METRO!”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 5 bed/3.5 bath is going for $949,900.

69 Comment

  • Gorgeous renovation! And one of the best locations in the city. Nice work!

    • I disagree. Yes, it’s very nicely done. However, I would never pay almost a million dollars for a home that close to the housing projects on V St.

      • I don’t get the fascination with Bloomingdale. It has limited access to the metro and is eerie at night. I have never understood why the prices are so high there, but I guess that is just me.

        • Also, re: my metro comment, I know this house is not terribly far but it is not that “deep” in Bloomingdale. It was more of a generalized statement.

        • Eerie? ‘Splain.

        • The fascination is that it is one of (if not the) last area of the city with Victorian rowhouses that are under $1M. Granted, this isn’t a Victorian but the Bloomingdale neighborhood really is quite beautiful. Plus, metro is overrated. There are plenty of other ways to get around this city.

      • Hahah…bought for 94K in 2007.


      • There are million dollar homes 3 blocks from housing projects all over the city – barracks row area, columbia heights, etc.

        Bloomingdale has some of the best housing stock in the city – in the same category as dupont, georgetown, and capital hill. This place is 5 blocks from the Metro. Hence, the valuation.

        • Bloomingdale does indeed have some gorgeous Victorian style architecture, but this Wardman-style house seems kind of plain in comparison. (When I saw the photo, I thought it was probably in Columbia Heights or Park View.) Nothing wrong with it — it looks very nice — just not as impressive (IMO) as Bloomingdale’s Victorians.

        • Bloomingdale does have nice houses, though certainly NOT on par with the best of what Dupont and Georgetown have to offer. And another difference between Bloomingdale and those other neighborhoods that you mentioned is that the others are in historic districts. If Bloomingdale wants to preserve its lovely housing stock, it better jump on the bandwagon. Quick.

          • You’re stacking the deck by saying the BEST of Dupont or Georgetown. There is a lot in Dupont and Georgetown that is not the best, and is inferior to the best of Bloomingdale. Best to best – yes, Dupont and Georgetown have the advantage. Average to average – meh, it’s not quite so disparate.

        • if you include ledroit park, the bloomingdale area has housing stock that matches the best of what dupont and georgetown have.

          • Ledroit Park — Also a historic district. And NOT Bloomingdale.

          • Good point, particularly since this house lies within the LeDroit Park historic district — likely explaining the missing roof-trailor/pop-top, so popular to the east of this property.


          • That’s a really interesting thing to note. Thanks to the historic district, the developer couldn’t add space, so instead they went super-high-end to recoup their investment. Without the historic district, developers build to the maximum size allowed, but they generally split the house into 2-3 separate units which are generally much more affordable. Bottom line is that limiting pop tops means limiting affordable housing. It’s really quite simple.

            And makes me happy since I live half a block from this house in the historic district.

          • I’m not sure that the association with affordable housing is so clear cut. We could debate the affordability of the subdivided pop-ups given they often have high-end interior finishes, reduced living space, and high price tags in this neighborhood. Also, note that this property contains a (2 bedroom?) rental unit, a living option for those in financial positions where buying is simply not an option. I would consider rental inventory and rent prices as part of affordable housing mix, distinct from affordable home ownership.

          • UStreet Guy –

            Sure, there’s a 2 bedroom apartment, but you’re kidding yourself if you think it’ll rent for less than $2000 a month (and that’s probably a low-end estimate). That’s probably outside most peoples’ definition of affordable.

          • I agree JS, but certainly no less affordable than a $600k purchase of half a pop-top (not considering the cash needed for a down payment). While the term is relative, calling either of these kind of renovations affordable in this area seems problematic, if not laughable.

          • JC, rereading my post, I admittedly wasn’t very clear that I was questioning anonymous’ conclusion that, “Bottom line is that limiting pop tops means limiting affordable housing.” I just don’t see how pop-tops, as they are currently being offered, relate to affordable housing any more than larger single-family dwellings with rental options. Neither renovation is really “affordable,” particularly in this part of the city.

  • Nice reno but the house next door looks like it is about to fall down.

  • Nice house, nice location, but can’t say it’s a good deal.

  • The market will speak. Having said that, if you were to show this (historically working class neighborhood-type) house to folks outside the DC area, they would find the pricing outrageous based on the outside of the house alone. Didn’t know about the housing projects nearby, but that makes it even worse if it’s true. DC is great, but it isn’t $1M-next-to-the-projects-don’t-leave-your-potted-plants-out great. But yes, the market will speak.

    • if you showed apartments in manhattan to people from kansas they would find the prices outrageous.

      this is hardly next to the projects. in fact there are many potted plants all around this block that don’t have any problems. much safer than columbia heights.

    • Huh? What do folks outside the DC area have to do with this? Personally I love this style of row home and don’t consider it to look “working class” at all (even if it was at one time, which I’m still not convinced of).

  • It’s a lot of money, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they get close to that. Beautifully done, and I love this neighborhood. As for the projects, these are everywhere in the city, and I think it’s more relevant to look at crime, which up there isn’t as bad as it is around the projects further south. Look forward to seeing what a house like that actually goes for.

  • I have to say it is not “literally” everything I want.

  • Looks like there aren’t any windows in the middle bedroom upstairs. Is that even legal? Also no window in the main living area for the basement apartment. Also, the flooring looks like laminate- seems cheap for a house at this price point. Renovated is nice-but keeping a few original touches would make the place more appealing to me. But then I’m not in the market for a 950,000 house.

    • Rooms without windows are not illegal – you just can’t count it as a “bedroom” as a selling point. This doesn’t mean that many RE agents don’t do this, however.

    • See picture 29/41 – there is a window in the middle bedroom.

    • I think there’s a “light well” (if that’s the right term — maybe it’s “light shaft”?) that goes up to the roof, and that middle bedroom has a window into the light well.
      It doesn’t seem to be reflected in the floor plan for the 3rd floor, though — it looks to me like it must be in the black area next to the master bath.

  • Given the listing agent’s exclamation “METRO!” in the blurb, I was expecting the house to be closer to Metro than it is… looks like it’s about 6.5 blocks.

  • I’m less enamored of the reno than most of ya’ll, although I like the kitchen and family room. But I think that open floor plan is otherwise just awful! I also think the finishes look cheaper than what I would expect to pay for in a nearly $1M house. And another question, are black and green the new black in decorating colors?

    • Not a fan of the open floor plan either, but considering it was a gut job, it doesn’t surprise me.
      I was pleased to see that the backsplash in the kitchen is a nice sedate light-gray subway-tile deal, and I like that the granite (marble? acrylic?) in the kitchen is a light color and pretty subdued in its marbling pattern. Unfortunately, the developer seems to have succumbed to the mosaic-glass thing in the basement kitchen and in some of the bathrooms. I suspect that will look dated very quickly.
      Scrolling through the photos, I initially thought there was no exposed brick, which I thought was a pleasant surprise… then got to the stairway that has a wall of exposed brick painted a sort of grey/periwinkle. I wonder what the rationale is for that — wouldn’t people who like exposed brick want their brick _fully_ exposed?

      • I liked that kitchen backsplash also. : )

        • Kinda sad that a non-busy backsplash in a newly renovated place is such a rare thing now as to inspire notice. 🙂

          • Seriously. Do people who redo their own kitchens actually choose to put these things in? I’ve never ever heard anyone say, “oh wow I really love that heavily patterned mosaic backsplash.” So why do developers keep trying to shove it down our throats?

          • Yeah, it is puzzling. Many people seem to genuinely like stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, but I never see PoPville posts oohing and aahing about mosaic backsplashes.
            Not sure if it’s so much the developers pushing it as the interior design/decor industry. They have a vested interest in getting people to adopt distinctive styles/trends, knowing that certain colors (think ’70s harvest gold), finishes, etc. will go out of style and make people want to re-do their kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms.

      • Re:exposed brick – my best guess is that the quality of the brick was just not good enough to keep it au natural. Pretty much ALL houses use a cheaper/lower quality brick for the retaining walls than they do for the facades. I may be wrong, but I don’t think the builders originally intended the brick to be exposed. As such, in the process of removing plaster from the brick, much of it can get chipped or otherwise damaged to the point where it’s no longer aesthetically pleasing.

  • As someone who won in the area and is on the market for a new house, this price is ridiculous. Again DC buyer always surprised me. I hear on NPR that the real estate was getting crazy again and people were buying what they cant afford, this type of listing is a big sign in favor of that.

  • I don’t know if I’d consider this a “good deal,” but as far as soulless flips go, this one is pretty nice. I do like all the large windows they put in and the layout of the kitchen and master bath actually seem to be quite good. It’s also a huge house on a huge lot with a garage, so it’s got that in its favor as well.

  • It’s not a good deal.

    I live right near there. As for the Metro, it’s close enough–a ten minute walk through Ledroit Park, I do it every day and never feel unsafe, the only busy street you cross on the walk is Florida, near the Howard theater.

    It’s also not really that close to the projects…several blocks away and a giant park in between. As other commenters have pointed out that applies to much of DC.

    But, the street this place is on is busy and noisy. And, you can go a few more streets away in get a similar place for $150K less. I’d add on a few extra minutes to my walk to the metro to save $150K.

    • 2nd street “busy and noisy”? are you kidding? first street is but second street is bucolic.

    • I feel safer walking down busier streets, not less safe…sometimes I do not feel safe in leDroit Park specifically because it is so quiet and deserted at times.

  • Oh, and by the way, look up the definition of “bucolic” before you use it next time. There isn’t a street in DC that is “bucolic,” to my knowledge.

  • I’d be among those saying it’s nice but not worth the price, but the rental unit is pretty valuable.

    And it looks like that third bedroom has sunlight coming from above, which is pretty freakin nice in a row house…

  • At 2900 sqft, that’s $328/sqft, it is remarkably below the average price for Bloomingdale home; I believe that price point is around $450/sqft. From that perspective, this is a pretty good value.

  • Late to this thread, but the rental unit is what justifies the price. The mortgage would be less than $4,000 if you’ve got the downpayment. But the rental unit could bring in $2,000. Someone with experience/skill in these situations would happily take that deal. Price per square foot blah blah blah, the person who buys this place is going to make the calculation they can live here for under $2,000 a month — the monthly costs could be lower in the house than in the basement rental!

Comments are closed.