GDoN? “All new systems” edition

DC8625951 - Exterior (Front)

This house is located at 615 11th Street, Northeast. The listing says:

“JUST LISTED: Top-to-bottom renovation of Capitol Hill rowhome with dual-entrance in-law suite two blocks from the H Street corridor and the soon-coming Whole Foods and other development. All new systems, hardwood and tile flooring throughout, tray ceilings, gourmet galley kitchen with marble counters, rear outdoor deck with garage door, and parking for two cars.”

DC8625951 - Dining Room

You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $1,049,900.

56 Comment

  • They went a bit overboard with those tray ceilings. Also, one of the upstairs bedrooms is the size of a closet, and another isn’t much bigger than that. For over $1M, most would expect a chef’s kitchen, not a galley kitchen. Overpriced IMHO.

    • Last year when I was looking in this area this would have gone for $700-800K.

      • The Whole Foods effect. I think this will go in the low to mid 900s.

        • Whole foods was announced well before this time last year. In fact it was mentioned in the listing for the house much nicer than this one, much closer to the new whole foods, that we almost bought that ultimately sold in the high 700s.

      • SouthwestDC

        Towards the end of our housing search, in 2010-2011, I recall seeing a lot of similar houses in the neighborhood that were listed in the mid or high $800s. I think prices went up a little bit more after that, and now have leveled off. Low to mid 900s sounds about right.

        • That’s what happens when you chop up a property that was originally 3BR/3BA into a 4BR/3.5BA.

          • If you have a million and are willing to drop it on a NE property, maybe you wouldn’t mind spending the money to make that “closet bedroom” into a pretty decent walk-in closet?

  • This is overpriced by a lot. It’s only 1600 square feet and agree with Anon on the kitchen. Plus, it looks like the nearest metro is about a mile away? Vessel sinks, which I give any house an immediate downgrade for using those. I can’t see this house going for more than 875k, be lucky to get 900k.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Wheee! It has one of those silly little sinks!

  • Neat-o! You can convert the first floor to a bowling alley in the evening, and the house next door has its own gutter mosquito farm!

  • Anonomnom

    This strikes me as way overpriced, especially for H st. There are some things I liked, but I can’t see this going for 1 mil.

  • HaileUnlikely

    Over a million for this? You gotta be f*cking kidding me.

  • I Dont Get It

    Vessel sinks stink.

    • Now we have sink snobs? the tray ceilings now seem as cliched as glass tile backsplashes (which thankfully it doesn’t have). The rooms seem small and this looks like it’s narrow. the in-law suite looks a bit bare.

    • I don’t necessarily mind them in theory, but it’s really dumb to make them out of material (like the stuff used on this place) that can be easily chipped.

  • people are just freaking out because its 7 figures. but its reasonably priced. basement is well done. if you value that at $350, then its $700 for the upper 3 br/2.5 ba which is a good deal.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Uh, ok. I guess maybe somebody out there values a basement in-law suite at $350K. I sure don’t, though, as I am perfectly content with my unfinished basement (gym, storage, workspace, laundry), and I could finish it very nicely for about $50K.

    • $350k for a basement? Maybe (maybe maybe) if it’s separately metered and located in Logan Circle. I don’t think you could sell a 1 bed basement condo near H Street for $350k.

    • justinbc

      When we were getting quotes to do a full basement dig out, with custom work throughout it was only $250K, so not sure where the other 100K in value would come from.

    • also, it looks like the only washer/dryer is in the basement, which kind of ruins it for renting out. there’s not a ton of space to put one upstairs, but maybe in the room past the kitchen.

    • If the basement were separately metered then it’d probably be worth 350+. But you don’t have to value it via the resale amount, you can also look at the rental income for it. Can you get $1500 a month for a one bedroom basement in this part of town? If so, that’s worth about $325 of your mortgage payment.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Yes indeedy, you can get that much for an illegal rental, and this one probably will.

      • Only if it’s rented at that price 100% of the time. A bank would never give you a loan based on that assumption.

  • For a million dollars I’d at least want an island or breakfast bar in my kitchen.

  • Not sure how I feel about the two different types/colors of flooring on the main level. And did they forget the oven/stove top in the basement apt?

    • emvee

      I noticed that. If you’re going to do a basement apartment, definitely give the people an oven/stove over a dishwasher.

      • I remember in the Post articles about the developer problems, one of the featured homes had an oven/stove in their basement that had to be removed because it was not allowed. Maybe stoves require some sort of special permit? Or special installation that costs too much to do legally? I notice that ovens/stoves are missing frequently from “in-law suites”.

      • I think, *think*, there is legal code that states it has to be a legal rental to include a stove. If you don’t put a stove in, you don’t have to get the special permits/whatever are needed. I remember seeing an episode on Income Property where the owners of the home were not able to get the proper permits to make their basement a separate apartment, so they didn’t put a stove in and use it as a daycare. Go figure.

  • Given all of the problems with some of the developers open space plans flip jobs that have been written about lately, I would look very, very carefully at flips with this floor plan to make sure this is structurally sound.

    I do think it is overpriced. I am sorry but it is NOT worth over a million dollars. One bedroom is only big enough for a twin bed and the master does seem that much bigger. Yes it is nice that there is rental income potential that adds value but I don’t think it adds that much value.

    • But there isn’t any rental income potential whatsoever. Someone buying a house that’s this expensive can’t possibly be planning into their budget renting out the non-separate non-legal basement. Can they? Why not just spend 600k on a rowhouse you can have all to yourself?

      A buyer is fooling him/herself imagining the basement as anything more than a mancave. At best, this is a roommate situation. Would the $36,000 ($1000/month for 3 years) really be enough for a (supposedly) young couple to stretch their finances to buy this house?

      As a DC-homeowner, I’m fine with crazy-high real estate prices. But this is silly. For a million dollars, at least get a semi-detached. Or get one of those rowhouses that are slightly wider than the rest. The only thing special about this one is the nice floors, the creepy ceilings, and the admittedly fantastic rear outdoor space.

      • ($36,000 over 3 year figure coming from “oh, we’ll just rent the basement out for a few years before we have children and need that space”)

        Maybe this would be good for a retired couple who just needs a place to put a million bucks. It’s not a house that screams “raise a family here.”

  • west_egg

    You guys are clearly overlooking and/or undervaluing the fancy-shmancy shower in the master bath. Every morning I look at my single-knob shower control, question every decision I’ve ever made and sigh with despair at my lot in life.
    On a more serious note–I’m no structural engineer but I have concerns about the load-bearing nature of the now-removed walls and an apparent lack of support in the current configuration. Maybe they’ve done a nice job hiding a new header amidst the forest of faux ceiling beams but not one that I can see.

  • justinbc

    I think the quality of this flip exceeds most of the ones I see, however even with the basement I think the $/sqft is a too high. I would anticipate closer to $950K.

  • It seems to me that “in law suite” is typically code for “doesn’t have a separate C of O.” I also note that the “in law suite” while nicely finished does not have a stove/cooktop of any kind, only a microwave. And it appears that it has shared laundry with the rest of the house in a spot that is not going to offer a lot of privacy to a tenant.

    A true, separately metered basement apartment I’d value a lot differently as a buyer than this kind of hybrid approach. I don’t need a kitchen and a half.

  • canadianexile

    Price seems high. Even with parking worth $50k, I’d estimate it will go for $875-925k.

    Also, after reading that series last week, I worry that structural elements are missing from the ground floor — unless beams are hidden in the tray ceiling 🙂

  • I like the sinks. I don’t think the house is worth $1M, but I do like the sinks. I think to get a million for this house you need a legal basement unit.

  • This house sold on January 30 for $586,000. I don’t really know how much a flip like this costs, but even if it is $200,000, the profit margin on this is enormous. So that’s 6 percent of the sales price for realtors, plus 15 percent in capital gains taxes, I believe. The investor is pocketing somewhere between $300,000-$350,000 on this single transaction.
    I’m in the wrong line of work.

    • Oops. My math is off. That’s $200,000-$250,000 on this single transaction. I’m STILL in the wrong line of work.

    • If this really sold 3 months ago and this entire renovation including what looks like a rear addition was completed in 3 months then something is off. It is impossible to build fully permitted rear addition in that time.

      • There are a bunch of permits listed in PIVS. The addition seems like it was from a different time period but everything else looks permitted including a new fence and a new basement slab.

      • Woah, actually if you look up the permits there aren’t a lot of them and nothing about removing load bearing walls. Surely they removed load bearing walls for this reno, right?

        “Interior demolition of non-bearing elements in a space up to 5,000 square feet.” Post Card/Building Permit

        • why do we think that load bearing walls were removed here? Speculation based on that WAMU article? Not every open floor plan had one. Many of these houses were built with joists that run from side to side and are supported by a pocket in the brick, not load-bearing walls.

          • HaileUnlikely

            This house was not built yesterday, and open floor plans were less common a long time ago. It is indeed possible that this house was originally built with an open floor plan, but there is a non-negligible chance that it was not. When talking about spending a million dollars on a house, I’d rather have evidence that everything is legit than struggle to rationalize plausible scenarios in which it might be legit.

          • I’m certain it wasn’t built with an open floor plan. That definitely wasn’t the style in that era. What I’m saying is that the construction technique used in my brick rowhouse was to run the beams for each floor from side to side resting in pockets in the bricks. There is no cross-beam supporting them or any evidence of there ever having been one, and they were clearly engineered to support the entire load of the floor without support in the middle.
            My house was flipped to an open floor plan almost 15 years ago and there is zero evidence of any sagging.
            There are a lot of things to worry about with a flipped house. Mine for example had concealed water and termite damage, the roof was only half finished (I later learned that my flipper was afraid of heights so never climbed up to check it), etc. I’m just saying that this is probably the least of your worries if you’re buying a flip.

  • The price may be a shock, but a house two blocks away, 412 11th SE which is similar size just sold at $1.1 after 5 days on market. Maybe not so overpriced?

    • You mean NE? The SE address I can see costing more.

    • Um, 412 11th Street SE is more like ten blocks away, due south…which puts it squarely between two Metro stations (Eastern Market and Potomac Ave). So, not really comparable…

  • Why not buy something that has a chance of increasing in value? I don’t think there’s much upside in this one.

    I’m looking through the listings between 900k and 1.25mil on a popular online real estate search and see 901 11th NE which is a corner lot (!!!) for $90k less with a separate basement unit. 25% more square footage, too. So if you want a cap hill location, just buy that one instead.

    wow, just saw 621 F St NE. BUY THAT ONE INSTEAD! It’s gorgeous and maybe 70k cheaper than 615 11th.

    Wish I were shopping for million dollar houses–this is fun!

    • justinbc

      Yeah I saw that one on 621 F St and it’s awesome. That house will go pretty much instantly, and probably over asking price.

    • as long as prices don’t decrease, you’ll still be building equity, plus getting a mortgage interest deduction on your taxes. buying for appreciation (of the transitioning neighborhood sort, not the general inflationary sort) is generally more risky, and not everyone wants it.

  • it was 412 11th NE that sold at $1.1.

  • Yes, meant the NE address.

  • SkeptiDC

    I checked this place out for fun and not only is it over priced, but I’d be very wary of the house based on the quality of workmanship I saw inside. Everything seemed a bit off and the ceiling of the master bedroom even started leaking when I was there. After reading the WAMU flipped series, is be very careful purchasing a house like this.

  • Oh please, it’ll sell. People in this town are happy to rent, and to rent out, illegal in-law suites. There’s a market. There’s no law against having a second W/D in such a home (wouldn’t your mother-in-law expect her own W.D in her in-law suite?). Or renting to a friend, who lets you do your wash downstairs when s/he’s not home, by agreement, if there isn’t already another W/D – and there’s always room to add a stacked one in a house this size that twin-sized bedroom would make a perfect laundry room. They seem to always leave room – like at the end of the run of counter – to add your own illegal range. And plenty of people who want place that’s done, but has room or two in a finished basement for doing stuff – even if they don’t need the large kitchen in their office/home gym/family room/crafts room/playroom, they use it for storage, and it isn’t in the way.

  • I like tray ceilings, I really do. Though I don’t like tray ceilings when they can’t take up the whole ceiling area because of what looks like a bump out from the duct work. It looks so weird and asymmetrical.

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