109 Comment

  • Is it just me, or does that gutter look crooked?

  • JEBUS that’s a lotta money!

  • Ugh, insane. This won’t end well.

  • People in this town have WAY too much money.

  • Flipped for over 2X the money.

  • Found pictures. The finishes and roof deck are nice, but not $900k nice.

    • Personally I think the front is hideous. They should have painted the whole house navy or made the “popup” brick. It looks like they completely cheaped out. I also HATE that they painted the exposed brick inside. Totally ruined it. As for the rest, looks pretty blah except for the built-in in the dining room. That’s kinda nice.

    • Wow, that is NOT a $915K house. In that area at that price, I would expect to be blown away. Very boring exterior. This is just so blase.
      The $1.4m house on Maryland Ave is a better deal (and even that is overpriced). At least it has a more interesting renovation.

  • I just don’t know how this works out. $900,000 in Petworth just doesn’t make any sense to me. 500,000, 600,000, even 700,000, but 900,000, I am just not sure about this one.

    • jim_ed

      I think you’d be hard pressed to find anything updated in Petworth for <$550k these days. We live a mile north of the metro and flipped houses are going 600-700k right now, so in that context I guess a house this close to the metro on the "right" side of Georgia doesn't seem all that far fetched.

      • Meh, flipped house right across the street from me just went for $569, the two on Farragut near 8th went for $520 and $540.

        I hear what your saying, but to me there is a big difference between 700 and 914. Thats all πŸ™‚

        • jim_ed

          Very true. I don’t envy appraisers working in the 20011 zip code right now, as pricing is all over the map. At 5th and Ingraham there’s a flipped house for $580k and half a block north there’s a flipped house for $329k. And what people are paying compared to others available doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.

      • I dunno, Jim_Ed, this house is half a block off one of the skankiest parts of 14th St. I’ll take my million dollars somewhere else.

    • I thought the 1300 block of Quincy would be Columbia Heights — no? (What’s the northern boundary of Columbia Heights supposed to be?)
      That far west, I’m assuming it’d be 14th Street Heights rather than Petworth. Maybe southern 14th Street Heights is now fetching Columbia Heights-esque prices??

      • epric002

        you’re right- it’s coheights. randolph is the northern boundary i believe.

        • Spring St is. Quincy is just north of Columbia Heights.

        • No, it’s not. Everything between FL, 16th, Spring, and Sherman/NH is Columbia Heights. If you’re north of Spring you’re not in Columbia Heights.

          • Prince Of Petworth

            We had an epic battle about this back in 2008 I think. Remember when one business group wanted to call it Tivoli Heights? Armageadeon almost broke out. Personally, I think it’s perfectly fine to use both neighborhoods interchangeably rather than risk some people getting ulcers.

          • epric002

            well, all the documents from the city relating to property taxes, the purchase of our house, etc. reflect that we live in columbia heights, and i live north of spring.

          • Prince Of Petworth

            Tax documents or not, this argument can not be won or lost. I’m slowly stepping out of the ring.

          • epric002

            when i describe to people where i live i say on the border of north coheights and south petworth, but since the office of tax and revenue says i live in coheights (and also says that this property on quincy is in coheights)…that’s what i’ve been using as “official”.

          • Tax records do not line up with neighborhood boundaries. Where’s Old City #2?

          • the tax document thing is not reliable. at all.
            don’t base anything on that.

            and besides a neighborhood isn’t a place because of a name, but because of neighbors.

          • epric002

            why don’t tax records line up with neighborhood boundaries?

          • because the tax records don’t need to jive with neighborhood names. they just simple a simple categorization system. some neighborhoods are too small, and there wouldn’t be enough comps, or units within them to require their own category.

            it comes from a time when these were not digital also. now it would be a much easier process.

          • epric002

            i don’t understand why tax records *wouldn’t* line up with neighborhoods. i have no preference for whether my house is in coheights or petworth, but it doesn’t make any sense to not accurately reflect that on property records, which is what i paid attention to as a first time buyer in DC.

          • According to the tax records, Bloomingdale does not exist – it’s listed as “Eckington”. It really only matters for RE values.

          • I’m curious where these “official” boundaries are stated that everyone seems to be quoting. The northern boundary

            Tax records list Annie’s Ace Hardware (1240 Upshur Street NW) as being in Columbia Heights. Roosevelt High (4301 13th Street NW) is listed as 16th Street Heights. The Pizza Hut (4201 Georgia Avenue NW) is Petworth.

            Of course, neighborhood boundaries are always shifting and are never constant. Great examples: People rarely use the neighborhood name Cardoza anymore; Ben’s Chili Bowl used to be widely accepted to be in the Shaw neighborhood and not the U Street neighborhood; NoMa was just created ~2007.

          • I live on the 1300 block of Shepherd, and our deed says “North Columbia Heights.”

      • Prince Of Petworth

        It’s just as much Petworth as it is Columbia Heights. I use both neighborhoods. Some people identify it with Columbia Heights, some with Petworth. When Red Derby first opened they identified with Petworth. It’s in a bit a gray area. So some people will get upset – but honestly both are acceptable.

        • Exactly. Arbitrary neighborhood lines really only affect RE value. It seems like this house had little trouble with that.

          • Define arbitrary. A Statement of Some of the Advantages of Beautiful Columbia Heights, written in 1904 (google it), defines the boundary at Spring. The city defines the boundary at Spring. Ward 1 ends at Spring. Wikipedia has the boundary at Spring. This is Petworth. Does it really matter? No, I suppose not. But then, this is a website about neighborhoods. Where better to argue about this?

          • Prince Of Petworth

            Yes but many people (not me) place the western of boundary of Petworth at Georgia. So thus the argument goes on and on and on and on.

          • epric002

            genuinely curious mr. poon- where does the city define it?

          • I’m guessing he’s talking about the tax records, that don’t mean all that much anyway.

          • epric002

            anon @ 5:25- it can’t be the tax records, b/c they say that this house is in columbia heights.

          • neighborhood lines may not mean all that much, but they are not arbitrary. they have everything to do with how the area developed and/or changed over time.

            some where school districts ( Adams Morgan, Cardozo) . some were developed subdivisions ( bloomingdale) some were racially segregated fenced off areas ( Le Droit Park).
            so they are important historically, perhaps not in the present day attitude.

        • Neat to see this thread. Who was Geo. T Huff? Barbara Seidenberg? Was Georgia Ave really called Brightwood Ave? The blocks involved seemed to be associated with the WJ RHEES SUB. So clearly this neighborhood should be called Rheeswood. I love that they list “Oak Tree” on the plat just west of 14th.


          • I think Rheeswood should have to petition us if they really want to officially become part of Petworth, we really don’t take just anyone here…;-)

          • saf

            Yes. It was “7th Street Extended,” then it was the “7th Street Turnpike,” then Brightwood Ave. It became Georgia Ave fairly late – the state avenues originally were positioned in the city as states were positioned in the union, but then some got moved for political reasons.

          • There it is, right on the map. The small area bounded by Taylor, Georgia, Randolph and 14th is “North Columbia Heights” — or at least it was way back when.

        • I thought the argument was whether it is Columbia Hts or 16th St Hts. Petworth is east of Georgia and certainly not west of 13th.

        • which metro is the closest? might be a good indicator.

      • I love this debate. Both neighborhoods are cool, but this area is Columbia Heights. Petworth ends at Georgia on any map you look at. It may feel closer to the Petworth commercial strip, but it definitely has a different feel that the other side of Georgia. At this location, you are only three blocks from the 11th St strip and Meridian Pint etc.

        Furthermore, all DC paperwork lists the area as Columbia Heights. I’ve asked several agents and everyone that I have spoke to said CoHi.

        All that being said and the silly argument aside, the houses around here are stunning. It’s a great area. You get the best of both worlds plus close to the metro and tons of nightlife/restaurants. $929,000 may be high, but this little area is a hidden gem in the city.

        • You realize that if the western boundary of Petworth is Georgia, the Petworth Neighborhood Library isn’t actually in Petworth?

          • andy

            I have argued this in the past but am throwing in the towel. Happily I might add.

            People can call the neighborhoods whatever they want. That’s just the way it is!

            Petworth is slowly solidifying its hold over the area just north of Columbia Heights and it seems like 16th Street Heights, which I always called my neighborhood, seems to be receding north in people’s minds.

            It’s fascinating how people define and brand community. I wonder what real estate folks about the value of branding certain neighborhoods and the value of certainty in neighborhood names, etc.

        • “Petworth ends at Georgia on any map you look at.”
          Not google maps, which is the first one I looked at.

          • So a bunch of programmers in Mountain View CA are now the final word on DC neighborhood boundaries? Can anyone think for themselves anymore, or have we just ceded all critical thinking to the Gods of the Internet?

      • I was looking online to see if I could find a map of what D.C.’s Office of Tax and Revenue considers the “legal subdivisions” (Old City #2, Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, etc.) to be.
        As far as I know, the legal subdivisions themselves aren’t contradictory. The issue is that the legal subdivision that a particular property falls in may or may not be the same as what people in the area (or outside the area) call the neighborhood.
        The place where I used to live would probably be described by most people as being in Adams Morgan. The “legal subdivision” according to the tax records was Mount Pleasant. I lived there for 10 years, and it wasn’t until I moved out that I heard the name “Lanier Heights.” I’m still not clear whether where I lived was supposed to be part of Lanier Heights or whether it began one block over, but I walked through, drove through, and parked in that area many time and always thought of it as Adams Morgan.
        Clear as mud, right? πŸ™‚

        • I’ve written about these a few times on my tumblr, with links to the citizen atlas and some lists of neighborhood maps. DC has defined boundaries for assessment neighborhoods (variously known as tax neighborhoods or real property neighborhoods) but long ago gave up on trying to define boundaries for what it calls city neighborhoods (which it now only groups in clusters). Some neighborhoods once had clear boundaries based on who owned the land (e.g. the Holmead estate which was subdivided into Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant, etc), or how it was developed (the land that became Petworth was owned by a couple different investors, one developer came up with a plan, and it shows up in the 1902 Baist survey with its original street names). The problem with land north of Spring and west of Georgia is that it wasn’t part of either subdivision originally, and few other names have stuck. One could argue that Petworth has grown west, or that the “North Columbia Heights” that shows up in one early survey map stuck, or that Columbia Heights did indeed grow north to consume the area. Anyway: it’s muddy.


      • I think if you live a block north from Petworth metro sums it up. It has to be Petworth, or else, Petworth metro would be in Columbia Heights, or north Columbia Heights, which doesn’t not make any sense.

    • This isn’t in Petworth.

      • Arguing physical borders is pointless. Most people associate neighborhoods and homes by the metros they are closest too. In this case, the house is most definitely closer to the Petworth metro than the CoHi metro. Who cares if it is the northern-most point of CoHi or the southern-most point of Petworth?

    • All sales have to meet appraisal and the new government regulations are pretty tight. It had to appraise or someone put down ALOT of cash. Might be a little high, but this area is fantastic. I can see why it’s in demand.

  • Looks like the realtor that sold it had just bought it last summer for 430k. Assuming he put 100k into it, he/she made about 400K in 5 months.

    • And I’m assuming you don’t know how much it costs to gut/flip a house? πŸ˜‰

      • I am going to go ahead and 2nd that. I just finished my renovation yesterday/today, and we only did the top two floors. Final cost (all inclusive) was about $150,000. The basement (possible dig-out) could have taken it to $225,000 or $250,000 easily.

        With that said, yes, this person made a lot of money on this deal. Given the prices of the flipped homes, I do feel there is some room for the shells to increase. It seems like shells should be going for more, given the margins still available. Definitely some arbitrage available.

        • You forget that flippers are not paying the same amount of money for the same work as you because they have relationships with the contractors.

        • You’re pretty close. They probably spent around $200k on this, including closing, holding, etc. I do this for a living.

    • 100k in for a gut and pop-up? Ha? You wouldn’t even get a pop-up for that. Not to mention holding costs, transaction fees, etc. My guess is more like 250k for the reno, 25-50k in other costs, and 50k in realtor fees. That leaves about 50-75k profit.

      • This is truth. We are adding a very tasteful pop up to replace a low ceiling attic with a third floor and renovating the rest of our house (two floors) and it’s going to cost about 330k when all is said and done. It’s high end but not poggenpohl high end. Renovating is not cheap. To another commenters point, a flipper will pay less than a homeowner, but not necessarily for all skilled trade work, and they have the nightmare of personally coordinating work that a general contractor does for a homeowner.

        • I’ve always wondered about financing a reno that expensive – do you HELOC it? Finance it with the contractor? How does it work, if you don’t mind me asking.

          • Gutted our 401ks, and took a home equity line of credit which is tough because although we’ve had appreciation the appraisal is done before the renovation and they are very strict on appraisals now

          • You emptied your both of your 401Ks? Wow…that makes my head hurt.

      • I realize everyone on POP fancies themself a construction expert after having put some new cabinets in their kitchen, or replaced a roof, but I’ve made quite the living the past 18 years flipping homes in DC, having don’t just under 60, 4 of them last year and the base builder grade price for a full gut to the studs (new plumbing, electrical, HVAC, finishes and roof) starts at $48-50 / sf. This particular house is 1800 sf, so 100K would be ~ $55 sf. You can finish a space out with Porcelinosa tile, Viking appliances and Brazilian cherry hardwood for $60 sf.

        How? People who do this for a living GC the work themselves rather than hiring a GC to do it for them, and they develop relationships with electricians, plumbers, tile folks etc, and get pricing unavailable to the average POP kitchen renovator because of the volume of work they do.

        The folks who say ~$200k have no idea what they are talking about, and the only flipper whose spent ~$110 bucks a sf flipping a house with these finishes, is already out of business.

        • Hi Flipper, how much would a pop-up run you (with your volume discount) vs. the cost to a homeowner making renovations to his own house (i.e. paying full market price)?
          What’s your ROI and turn-around time on a typical SFH flip?

          • Hard to say, as you lose significant economies of scale by simply doing a pop up rather than including the rest of the house, but I wouldn’t pay more than 25-30K on a house this size “just” for the pop up. That will get you basic quality finishes for the new top floor. The most expensive part is the new roof.

            I don’t flip a house anymore unless it pencils out to Atleast a 25% return, which equates now to about 125 – 150K per house after realtor fees, settlement fees and taxes. When I started, I was happy to make a couple thousand dollars on a flip, but now I’m too lazy to chase those projects.

            And despite what some above think, no flipper who has more than a couple of these under their belt ever has carrying costs. We pay cash because it greases the wheels in terms of getting a preferred purchase price, financing takes time to arrange and it costs more money. It’s also a pain because once you get a construction loan from a bank, they get to inspect the progress and review pay applications from the contractors, all of which dramatically slows the process.

    • Just curious as to what difference that makes. Almost every time a flip comes up on this board someone chimes in with the observation that the flipper made a lot of money in a short period of time. So what? Are there really people out there who won’t buy a house if it appears that the seller will be making too much of a profit (whatever “too much” is defined to be)?

      • The flipper takes on a shitload of risk too. Like we saw on our project, the first floor had extensive termite damage.

  • That whole front portion of the roof (with the red tile) looks like it’s at a different angle (i.e., closer to the vertical wall) than its neighbors.

  • WHAAAAAT????!?!?!?!!?!?!!

  • Im sure this is a nice place, but its not nearly-a-million nice. This is further proof to me that the only people who will be able to afford to live in DC in the future are the very rich and the very poor.

  • Single family pop ups, yes. Many pop ups split a single house into multiple affordable condos.

    • “Affordable” in comparison to the entire house, perhaps. But they’re usually renovated and marketed as “luxury” condos, and often they’re priced not far below what an entire (unrenovated) house would cost in the same area.

      • A small condo can’t be compared with a full house. Despite the nostalgic comments here, an unrenovated house that hasn’t been fastidiously maintained (which is almost every house east of the park) is going to be an expensive disaster to renovate.

      • Yes, but the addition of luxury and high end condos take the pressure off the mid-high price condos. And, eventually these luxury condos become outdated and get sold at regular nice-ish condo prices. So, it takes a long time, but the addition of units should keep prices from going crazy like they would if we kept the number of units static.
        I’m not a huge fan of the luxury $600,000 one floor of a row house condo, but I do believe the more units the better in the long haul. There is absolutely still a place for houses in my mind, but flippers tend (not always) to take the worst ones, which would be beyond a family’s budget to bring up to modern standards, and turn them into more units. I’m not saying they’re doing some wonderful service, but there are a lot of people who want to buy places and they are supplying places.

  • They slant the gutters towards the downspouts so that the water flows down and doesn’t settle in the gutters.

  • They PAINTED the exposed brick throughout?? On the fireplace too!

    • Yeah, that is really sad. I hope it was because the brick was in nasty shape because otherwise it’s a shame to cover up exposed brick. In any event, it’s a pretty sweet renovation. I don’t know if it’s $900k sweet, but sweet it is.

    • epric002

      it’s very likely that the interior brick is that same sandy colored brick as the exterior (ours is, unfortunately, and it’s UGLY). some houses around here have red interior brick, but a lot have the sandy brick.

      • Yeah good point. But my question is, why expose it at all? I think painted exposed brick is worse than not exposing it. I understand painting the fireplace since that was likely already there and perhaps the sand color, but the walls? So unnecessary and just looks horrible.

        • epric002

          i dunno, i guess some people like painted brick? i don’t mind it, but agree that i wouldn’t go through the trouble of exposing it to then paint it.

  • Can kyle-w and Anonymous at 5:11 who is doing a pop-up and renovating their house for 330k comment on who they are using to do the work and whether they are happy with it or not?

    • Anon here, it is turning out to be twice the cost and time we estimated, which is precisely what we were warned. So, expect that.

      • It is going to be twice $330K or $330K is twice the cost you were originally quoted? If the former I’d cut my losses and get a new house…

  • Irrational exuberance?

  • I find it interesting the large difference in price between Petworth and Brightwood.

    Petworth has a shorter walk to the subway and is considered a hip place to live but the crime rate is higher than in Brightwood.
    Brightwood has excellent Bus access to almost anywhere, including the subway but is not considered hip.

    Is it the subway or the hip factor that is causing Petworth homes to go for a $100,000 – $300,000 more?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      To over simplify an answer to an over simplified question (with debatable premises) – it is the same reason homes in Columbia Heights are more expensive than homes in Petworth and the same reason that homes in Logan Circle are more expensive than Columbia Heights.

    • I’m not so sure that a lot of people consider Petworth a hip place to live. It’s a very pleasant neighborhood where you buy a house when you can’t afford what you want in Columbia Heights, but I’d hardly call it hip.

    • “Is it the subway or the hip factor that is causing Petworth homes to go for a $100,000 – $300,000 more?”
      I’d say both, plus the “distance to downtown” factor.

  • Isn’t there a nasty gang that hangs around 13th and Quincy? Seems like I read about some gratuitously violent assaults and robberies around there.

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