GDoN? “Superior opportunity for sweat equity” edition

259 Kentucky Avenue Southeast

This house is located at 259 Kentucky Avenue, Southeast. The listing says:

“Blond brick row near Lincoln Park, Eastern Market, Metro. Superior opportunity for sweat equity.”

You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/2.5 bath is going for $539,000.

21 Comment

  • Linc Park SE

    This is a great neighborhood and that house is on a good block.

  • justinbc

    Oof. Hesistant to say this is a good deal, due to the amount of obvious physical damage to the property with collapsing exterior and water damage throughout. Sweat equity to fix up outdated things is very different than fixing unknown things hidden due to neglect. Some of the immediate needed repairs for safety could easily tack on tens of thousands more. It’s also getting a lot closer to the Potomac side than the Eastern Market side, which is improving but still has a way to go.

    • This was my exact thought when I saw this listing come up. I would absolutely love to get in at $550k if it were structurally perfect. But it’s obviously not. Plus there’s no way I could compete with the above-asking cash offers.

      • You should always make an offer because you never know. We made an offer slightly under list on our house (didn’t think it was worth list as it needed work). It was on the market for less than 24 hours and when we offered there were already 7 offers on it. In the end there were 11 offers, 3 of them all cash, but we won! We went into it thinking if we don’t make an offer, we’ll regret it, and if we win great. If we don’t, oh well.

        • justinbc

          Yeah, that’s what you’re paying your agent for after all (or more precisely why he’s getting a cut of the seller’s commission fee). If you want to make an offer have him/her draw up the paperwork, doesn’t hurt you at all.

  • We are on the house hunt now and asked our realtor to look into it. Multiple cash offers already made at or above asking. Post renovation value will likely be close to $1M.

    • justinbc

      If your agent told you the post-renovation value there is close to $1M then I highly suggest finding a different agent who knows the market better as he/she is misleading you quite a bit.

      • Post renovation with an extra floor and extra space going back could easily get over $500k each. It’s just outside the historic district.

        I agree though $1m for just a single-family would be tough.

        • justinbc

          Well yeah if you add on an absurd amount of different structural things to the house then sure, you could come up with just about any number. But the general connotation of “sweat equity” kind of renovations are not nearly to that scale.

          • The all-cash above-asking offers certainly aren’t going to do a simple gut job. There’s over 1200 square feet of developable land outside the historic district. We all know what’s going to happen here and I think that’s how a realtor can get to that $1M mark (and I think $1m would be pretty conservative if it’s two units built out to the maximum allowable under zoning).

      • A house at the corner of KY and C which is right there got flipped in the last year or so, but stayed single family and was sold higher than I thought it deserved (I live around the corner). The list price was $720, or so I think and I am pretty sure the eventual sale price may have been over $800,000. While I do think a million is a bit high, depending on what gets done to it $800,000 may not be out of the question. Also, this is outside of the historic district so a pop up is likely. A house a few doors down had a very well done pop up (you can barely tell it is a popup) and I have a feeling it may have changed the comps – as well as opening the doors for whoever develops this one. I assume that flipper bought it and who knows what they will do with it.

  • HaileUnlikely

    No deal. My house was in worse shape than this when I bought it, but I paid barely half this much for it.

    • When? And where?

      • HaileUnlikely

        Takoma, November 2012, 3BR, 2.5 Baths, ~1200 square ft, semi-detached (i.e., duplex), lots of water damage, had to replace most of the subfloor, pump out standing water, and have a sump pump and drainage system installed. ~$35K and countless hours later, it by no means resembles a high-end renovation, but for me is perfectly comfortable and livable. It’s one of the smaller houses in the little neighborhood between Georgia Ave and Blair, right at the northern tip of DC. It was a foreclosure, being sold through Fannie Mae’s HomePath program, which does not allow offers from investors for the first 14 days on the market. In my opinion this is perhaps the last reasonably affordable neighborhood anywhere in NW. There has been minimal developer activity around here, most of the houses aren’t huge, and unrenovated by habitable 1000-1200 square foot houses around here typically go for low- to mid-400’s.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Similar deals can be found in the neighborhood over by the 3-Stars brewery. Minimal investor activity, flipping unlikely to yield large profits, but decent place for a non-rich old guy like me to buy a house to settle down in.

  • Post renovation valuation is a bit tough to nail down these days…
    Just look at the WSJ’s piece last week: “Dodgy Home Appraisals Make a Comeback: Industry Executives See Parallels With Pre-Crisis Valuations; Regulators Are Wary”

  • What the hell is going on with the exposed brick in this house? I can’t tell if somebody tried to repair it after exposing the brick or if it was like that under the plaster to begin with, but either way, it needs to be covered back up. Looks terrible.

    • justinbc

      Yeah it looks like some sort of mold infestation is taking over. I’m sure that’s not what it is, but I can’t help but think of plankton or something.

      • I thought the spots were daubs of some kind of repair substance… but if it’s mold or something related to the water intrusion on the opposite wall, that means it’s going to be even more of a headache to remedy.

        • I thought that it was just a homemade patch job of old, crumbling mortar. It seems like they used an incorrect mortar/whatever that’s still drying.

  • The harvest gold refrigerator in the basement alone makes this well worth the money. ; )

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