Good Deal or Not? “Classic American foursquare” edition

1509 Gallatin Street Northwest

This house is located at 1509 Gallatin Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Classic American foursquare brimming w charm. Huge, level lot. Off-st prkg for 2. Sunlight streams thru myriad picture windows. HWD flrs. Deep LIV RM feat. wood-burning FPL. Updated KIT w SS and granite. Wide back porch, lrg fenced yard, 2nd flr screened-in porch. Add additional space w attic & BSMT. EZ access to Rock Creek Prkwy & Metro bus line.”

You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/ 1 bath is going for $649,000.

19 Comment

  • Whoa, that’s a beautiful house and in a nice location. With the huge yard it seems like a good deal to me.

  • This is a joke, right? There’s no way it won’t sell for more than that.

    • Accountering

      I posted below, but then went and looked at the actual pictures. I am now thinking it is $200,000 or more under priced. This is an awesome house, on a quiet street, with super easy access to the 16th street buses.

  • Accountering

    Whats the catch? I would say this is certainly priced for a bidding war, and is likely $100,000 underpriced. Renovated rowhouses in Brightwood Park are going for $600,000, and nice 2BR condos are low 400’s. This doesn’t make much sense.

    • It DOES have only one bathroom. Also, if all of the windows need to be replaced (hard to tell, but seems likely), it would cost a small fortune. So maybe not $100k underpriced, but definitely meant to start a bidding war.

      • Accountering

        Meh, for $800/window you can get top-notch windows installed. So say $20,000 for the entire house? Then another $20,000 to add a top notch bathroom, and those two problems are gone, and you have a 2BA, with all brand new windows. Small issues like that don’t result in underpricing like this, IMO.

      • $500/window installed for ordinaries.

  • Wow! If I could imagine a perfect house, it would be this one. I love the house, love the neighborhood, and the lot and yard are huge. The price is much lower than I would have expected. If I were in the market for a house I would totally try for this one.

  • Who is paying almost $700k for one bathroom? This is a thing that happens in 2014?

    Ain’t nobody got time to be bangin’ on the bathroom door when your mortgage is this high.

    • Still a crazy deal (barring major structural issues). If it gets bid up to $850K, nevermind, no deal, but if somebody actually buys this for the asking price or not much more and wants another bathroom, just put another bathroom in yourself.

  • Something must be wrong, this price is too low even for a bidding war. But I’d buy it if I had the money.

  • I’d imagine 1 bedroom is the major flaw–having at least a half bath downstairs was common when these houses were built and it’s probably not unusual for a bath to have been added at some point in a neighborhood like this. There is a window unit in one of the pics but that may be for a converted sleeping porch–but no mention of central air in the description. Window units in a condo–no big deal, but more of an issue in a house with lots of natural light. It’s odd that there are no pics of the basement (so we can see the age of the HVAC or possible water damage) or the yard (does it need some serious gardening).

    The woodwork is beautiful and would be a big draw for me, along with the brick construction. It may need some updated systems or windows. It’s also hard to tell if some tuckpointing might be needed, too. I’m guessing they either want a bidding war or just became overwhelmed at the cash flow needed to make it much more valuable,

    • Looked at the house over the weekend. It is much smaller than you would think. The third bedroom is nursery sized and currently used as a closet. It is hard to imagine how to squeeze three normal sized bedrooms and another bath without major renovation. Many windows are original and all are single pane. The roof and rear porches also might need to be replaced soon.

  • justinbc

    If I wanted to live in this neighborhood I would definitely be putting an offer in on this place. At that low of a price you could easily afford to add in a second bedroom and still come out cheaper than your neighbors.

  • The back porch also looks like it is in terrible shape, and it’s pretty ugly. The actual house is beautiful, but with a backside of the house in need of repair, only one bathroom and a likely unfinished basement and attic, there may be a lot more work than is what is apparent from these pictures. With all that though, seems low, especially for that huge yard.

  • Wife and I checked it out the moment it opened. She was highly motivated.


    – very handsome house with strong curb appeal
    – loads of original wood details
    – all unused original french doors stashed in basement, seemingly in great shape
    – big level lot
    – room to expand in attic and basement
    – kitchen already done
    – Some electrical apparently done
    – Partial central HVAC
    – Tons of windows and light and architectural features
    – Some pipes look to be new


    – Original shape, which means many rough spots
    — touch the bannister and it just might fall over!
    – One bathroom, updated and OK but kind of grubby
    – No garage (unusual in this neighborhood)
    – Really just two bedrooms. The third (so-called) is used as a closet and is tiny tiny tiny
    – Surprisingly small (though room to expand)
    – Third floor renovation is incomplete and feels like it wasn’t a professional job. Might need to be entirely ripped out
    – Many large windows and french doors that will need renovation or replacement
    – Radiators ripped out and replaced with forced air (boo)
    – Large back porch looks rough and dilapidated. Might be workable, but probably would need replacement soon
    – Floors need refinishing; some springy spots
    – Status of in-boundary schools very much in question; adverse decision could hurt prices in this neighborhood.

    Overall, a deal, and likely to sell for at least $750k. But most people will want to put $100k – $200k to fix it up and get the third floor usable, or $300k -$?k to blow away the porch and expand into that big yard. Though an industrious sort w/out kids could certainly live in it as is.

    • Agreed. First thing I thought was I’d add a huge front porch. Love this house and agree it is underpriced. Let the bidding war commence. The bones are great and it’s hard to get a detached home in that area with the potential this one has for less than $750K.

      • It already has a front porch (just not a huge one). Extending the front porch would probably result in an architectural bastard/chimera — it’s not likely to go well with the style of the house.

  • The brick is a little drab but that design and those proportions are divine. It’s like some sort of metaphysical perfection.

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