GDoN? “stainless steel hardwood floors” edition

Exterior (Front) -

This house is located at 1433 Monroe Street, Northeast. The listing says:

“Detached brick colonial; 4 blocks from metro; near Howard University School of Divinity in sought after Brookland; fireplace; separate LR and DR; full bath on main level; stainless steel hardwood floors; off-street parking; Home warranty; sold “as-is”.”

Living Room (p1) -

You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/2.5 bath is going for $492,500.

48 Comment

  • Where are the stainless steel and hardwood floors?

  • “Home Warranty; sold as is”… what the hell does that mean?

  • I Dont Get It

    Grammar counts.

  • This is a perfect example of how a neighborhood turns over. When people lament the closing of longtime businesses and wonder what happened to their old ‘hood, this is how that happens, folks: a family is tasked with selling en elderly relative’s home so they put it on the market “as is” (and enjoy reviewing multiple bids).
    It’s likely the estate or family is selling this house, which is probably owned free and clear but is a half-million total gut from the popcorn ceilings to the harvest gold carpet. So when another 50 year old hair salon closes and people complain about it, they have only to ask what they would do if they were in this situation. My guess is the same thing as this family is doing. And who can blame them?

    • justinbc

      You’re right, businesses should never adapt to meet new customers needs.

    • I have no idea what you’re trying to say? What does a family selling their relative’s house have to do with a hair salon closing?

      • I think (s)he is simply pointing a collective action problem. The people selling may have been more likely to patronize the hair salon than newer residents would (which experience seems to show as true), and may like to see less affluent (often black) families stay in neighborhoods like Brookland–but they still sell, because individually they see more of a benefit from cashing in, at least in the short term. And perhaps they can’t afford to make the property livable anyhow.

        • That’s not a collective action problem. If everyone sells at the new higher prices, they are all better off. The only people who have negative utility associated with gentrification are a bunch of online blow-hards.

          • brookland_rez

            I agree. Change happens, and I don’t blame anyone for selling. As for this house, please whoever gets it take all those bars down off the windows. Totally not necessary anymore, if they ever were.

          • Not if prices double again in 10 years. Not if they can live rent-free in the house for the next 20 years and save $750k in rent and invest that money for retirement. And, money aside, not if you value preserving your community over some fast cash.
            Personally, I think most of the changes taking place in the neighborhood are very good. But if you cannot see how others’ perspectives might be different, you might want to turn your adjectives above on yourself.

          • Eponymous – I have no idea what on earth you are trying to say. Some people may like Brookland now, others might not. I’m just pointing out that this is not a collective action problem.

          • brookland_rez

            I think prices are getting close to topping out. Once Brookland has all the amenities that NW west of the park has, that will be where comparable houses top out at. From there, they will rise roughly with inflation.
            Compare with Glover Park in NW. I know people that bought a rowhouse there in 1997 for $260k. That was before the Whole Foods and higher end amenities. Schools were so-so back then, the retail on that stretch of Wisconsin Ave was so-so. The people I know there is a couple with no kids. Wife is a librarian and husband is a non-profit worker. According to them, higher income professionals began moving in around 2000, and with that came the Whole Foods and nicer restaurants. Then the schools improved. In the process, their home value rose to around $800k by 2006, and has only risen with inflation since. So I don’t see Brookland rowhouses going for any more than that. Bungalows like the one featured here may hit around a million but that will be it. The bigger colonials may eventually get up to $1.5 million, but that will be it as well. Just my opinion.

          • brookland_rez

            Bungalows completely renovated might hit a million, to clarify.

          • You can look up the definition of “collective action problem” on your own. I don’t have time to think for you.
            rez – I can see a path for Brookland DCPS elementary schools to improve dramatically, but middle school and high school? I think people will still pay more to feed into Wilson.

          • brookland_rez

            Eponymous, back in the 90’s it was the same way in NW. Janey elementary was good, for example, but Deale and Wilson were mediocre at best. But as kids from higher income households matriculated through the system, Deale and Wilson gradually improved.

          • Blithe

            Brookland_rez, I’m curious about your comment re: Deal and Wilson being “mediocre at best:. Both schools were highly regarded — at least through the early eighties, and both schools are well-regarded now. And, at least through the early eighties, the student body had a large number of international students, neighborhood students, and high-achieving students from around the city who actively sought out these schools. What’s the basis for your comment about “mediocre at best”? Did Banneker attract students who would have otherwise attended Wilson? (I’m guessing not — but it’s possible.) Was there a drop in the number of kids from WoP neighborhoods that chose to attend Deal and Wilson? Administrative issues?

          • brookland_rez

            I’m going off people I know that were here back then. A good friend of mine that grew up in the 90’s that was eligible to attend Deale/Wilson. His parents put him in private school back then because Deale/Wilson weren’t good enough.

          • brookland_rez

            The issue with Deale/Wilson is that up until very recently they attracted a lot of students that were out of boundaries because they were the best public school option in DC.

  • I predict a developer will buy this with cash. Not sure why the seller wouldn’t get rid of some of the clutter and baby puke green/brown carpet. It would probably go for a lot more if it showed better.

    • What “clutter” are you talking about? Most surfaces are clear, and there are only a couple of cases where a given room could have profited from a chair or end table being removed.
      “Straight outta the 1970s” is not the same thing as “cluttered.”

      • It’s all relative but I would call the bedrooms and dining room cluttered. Having all that furniture (70s or not) makes it hard for prospective buyers to imagine it as their own space. It looks like 2+ bedrooms have multiple dressers and chairs blocking closets.

  • It’s nice to see a home for sale that looks like a regular home, not a flip. Taking out the furniture, window dressings, and carpets will go a long way and then other cosmetic updates can be done to taste and over time. I would have loved a house like this when I was looking. I have no idea if the price is right for that neighborhood but there was a huge lack of regular, lived-in homes when I was looking and someone who wants to live here for lots of years could make a great home out of it, over time.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Completely agreed.

    • That would be true if all the systems are in order. Houses with older owners tend to be behind on their maintenance as much as they’re behind on their decor. The location can definitely support something like a $750,000+ sale if someone successfully and safely renovates it.

      • Yeah. This is a really tough call, IMO. If most of the issues are cosmetic, this is a great deal. But that roof does NOT look new, and if the kitchen is functioning now it might not be long before things break. The basement condition and ceiling height would also be really important in evaluating this one, since there’s going to be more usable square footage down there than on the second floor.
        Overall, I suspect the realtor priced this about where it should be.

        • no chance all the issues are cosmetic, otherwise they wouldn’t be selling ‘as is’. this is clearly an estate whose beneficiaries aren’t interested in managing a complicated, expensive and risky renovation to maximize their profits, which is totally reasonable. people who have the fantasy that they can just find a “lived in” home that hasn’t been updated for decades and live in it happily without spending a lot of money on maintenance and updating are kidding themselves. I thought this too and almost bankrupted myself right after moving in when I realized no insulation, a decrepit 20-30 year old HVAC system, termite damage, sagging roof with water infiltration, etc weren’t “livable” and had to be dealt with.

          • The “as is” clause in the DC market is normal. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with the house, mostly they’re just not fixing it if there is something wrong. However, it also doesn’t mean they won’t fix any problems. Our house was sold as is and we found a couple minor issues in the inspection. The sellers did fix the problems! Didn’t your inspection reveal the decrepit 20-30 year old HVAC system and the sagging roof? Even if you have to replace the HVAC, roof, and everything inside this house you could probably still do it for ~150k, which gives you an all in of about $650k. Not a bad deal for a detached home in DC.

          • ParkViewRes is right. In D.C.’s tight housing market, as-is requirements are extremely common. My house was as-is and didn’t have any significant issues.

          • yes the inspection revealed these items, but as a first time homebuyer I didn’t realize the urgency and expense of dealing with them. And, I didn’t have $150,000 cash lying around to make the repairs, hence the near-bankruptcy. My point is that it’s easy to CONVINCE yourself that you could happily live in a 1980s-era bungalow that has only been lightly maintained, but you are very likely to realize that’s not the case very quickly once you’ve moved in.

    • Dogno is right. While the house looks in decent shape there can be A LOT underneath that needs work. Likely all of the electrical and plumbing. That tile in the kitchen may be asbestos. There are all sorts of things that make it easier and more cost efficient to gut even in a well kept older house.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I’d definitely want a thorough inspection. Given the age I’d just assume the kitchen tile *is* asbestos. Unless the developer cheats on the asbestos removal, I’m not sure gutting would make asbestos removal anymore cost efficient. If the wiring is aluminum (given age, it may be), then sure, go ahead and gut, aluminum wire is now regarded as unsafe and it’s hard to rewire with all the walls and floors and ceilings there. Otherwise, while I can imagine somebody wanting to gut this to flip it, I think this could be made perfectly nice and comfortable without gutting.

        • Gutting often makes sense when you have that much asbestos removal (assuming that tile is asbestos). The reason is peeling off the tiles may release a lot of particles into the area. The cheapest, easiest, and safest way to remove it is to remove and replace the entire subfloor. At that point you’re pretty close to a gut already.

          • Cant you just put a floor over the asbestos? I think removal might be more dangerous?

          • HaileUnlikely

            Actually, many would recommend that. My experience with asbestos removal was absolutely necessary, as I had asbestos tile in the *basement* and was going to be disturbing it (to put it mildly) to install a French drain.

          • Covering is the preferred strategy in the basement for two reasons (1) there’s typically no subfloor to remove, (2) people don’t care a lot about the floor in their basement. The issue with the kitchen is that covering it seriously limits your flooring options. A hardwood floor over sealed asbestos is basically out of the question. Tile can be okay but it limits the type of tile that can be used. Generally speaking replacing the subfloor is the way to go when you’re not in the basement.

  • justinbc

    This one is pretty close to all the “main” attractions of Brookland, but for basically the same price I would rather have the one just a bit further north posted last week:

    • HaileUnlikely

      If I wanted to do more driving, I’d definitely agree. This one is a slightly shorter and much friendlier walk to metro though (only a minor detour and you can avoid walking beside the speeding traffic on Michigan altogether)

    • Disagree. This house is in what many people consider the best part of Brookland, it’s detached, and it’s significantly closer to the Metro. Depends on your stomach for renovations, obviously, but I’d take on the project in a heartbeat.

      • justinbc

        I don’t disagree with any of those points, but the “best” part of Brookland just doesn’t offer enough for me to warrant having to do all the work vs having someone who’s already done it and done it pretty well for me at the same price point.

  • This could be a great buy, as the other recently renovated homes on this street are going for well north of this. (Several, albeit larger, ones pushed the $1mm mark.) As long as you’re OK being up against Monroe Street, this is a great opportunity to get bang for your renovation buck — either in the immediate term or over time.

  • If I had half a million dollars I would buy this cash and live in it completely unchanged, no joke.

    This is basically my dream house.

    • Green and salmon bedrooms and all? 😉

    • Emmaleigh504

      I could totally live there with different curtains and paint, and I def want some of that furniture! But if I could find a place from the 30s with minimal upgrades/redecorating I’d be in hog heave.

  • This is one of my favorite blocks in DC. Across Monroe Street is one of my favorite houses. I love the way it’s landscaped and the way the it sits on the hill. Very stately looking from the Monroe Street side.

    I’d pay that to live in this house across the street from that. The funky yellow ones would be uphill from me, but with a one-house buffer zone.

    Very un renovated. But this will appreciate in value with some modernization.

    • The funky yellow ones are funky and yellow no more!

      And do you mean that brick house on the corner with the detached garage with the built in bird house? Plus a green house & a pond. Love that one!

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