GDoN “with all the bells and whistles” edition (reader request)

This house is located at 627 Delafield Pl, NW. The listing says:

“New Petworth Beauty! Complete renovation from head to toe, with all the bells and whistles! Charming and chic on a beautiful quiet street! Fresh, modern amenities w/original touches! Flows effortlessly… open floorpan, warm wood floors throughout & abundant natural light. Designed to live well and entertain fabulously! Rear deck & secure off-street parking makes for Urban Easy! Walk Score – 81”

inside

You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $749,900.

44 Comment

  • I wonder how all these mortgages will fare next year when the new recession settles in.

    • If they put 20% down that leaves them with 600k mortgage, which is about 3500k in payments. Which is about 1750 piece a employed couple. About the same they would pay as a single renting a one bedroom. I’m single and that’s my payment(thought I have a rental apt that helps). I’d kill to be part of a dual-income household. I’d have so much disposable income.

      • Until/unless you factor in kids – one of the more pernicious side-effects of dual-income life. 😉

      • Yeah but youre assuming they have 20% down, which I’m gonna guess most people don’t. In this case that’s a whopping 150k plus roughly 15-20K in closing costs. So your 1750 per person scenario looks good, but the 165-170k cash is a big if!

        • I never understand why 20% down is always the starting point. I don’t know anyone who put that much down on a house in DC.

          • It’s to avoid paying PMI. PMI payments are very costly and unnecessary.

          • My understanding was that sellers like to see a down payment of 20% or more, and that in a situation with multiple bidders, prospective buyers who don’t offer 20% are unlikely to be considered.
            .
            All other things being equal, bigger down payment = smaller loan, and smaller loan = more likely that the buyer gets financing

          • Less than 20% is risky, hence PMI. Short-term memories is correct. If you only put 10%down and the market dips, then you are stuck underwater. For a risk adverse town full of lawyers the amount of debt in this town is crazy.
            .
            The better question is–at 10% down and PMI how do people max out 401Ks, pay for daycare, max out a 529, etc.?

          • We didn’t put 20% down, it was definitely a risk, but we felt like we were going to get priced out of the market if we waited until we had 20% (plus closing costs). As soon as we moved in we did a bunch of renovating though and 9 months after we closed on the sale we closed again on our refinance. House appraised for 25% more than we paid for it. Ours was a fixer upper though.

          • To clear up what appears like a little confusion: you only pay PMI until you hit 20% equity. A lot of people I know put down less than 20%, but most are young people who spent a lot of time in school and suddenly have very high incomes but have been saving for a short time.
            .
            With housing prices rising and the rental prices through the roof in DC putting down less than 10% makes sense for a lot of people. But most make extra payments so they hit 20% faster. You can also hit 20% by having your assessment increase. It’s hard to count on that, but obviously nobody in DC right now should be paying PMI for more than 2 years with housing price increases as they are.

          • “The better question is–at 10% down and PMI how do people max out 401Ks, pay for daycare, max out a 529, etc.?”
            .
            I’m guessing they don’t max out, but still make whatever contributions they can afford.

          • Anonomnom

            To add on to Petworther’s comments above (as I recently lived the scenario s/he described) there are lenders who are open to removing the PMI even when you are under %20 down. This is not the norm, and you have to dig around to make sure you aren’t taking too much of an interest hit, but the option does exist for people in high-income low-liquidity scenarios!

          • I put 5% down on my first home in Columbus, OH, in 2003 and had to pay PMI and I also paid to get a lower rate. Five years later, I put 5% down on my home in the district and no PMI. I asked and they said it was due my great credit history. I chose not to argue, especially with the interest rate I was being offered without having to buy down on it.

        • And forget about refinancing. I seriously doubt that the value of these homes will increase significantly. They’re already overpriced IMO.

        • With the amount of property that is being traded in DC, I’m sure a lot of these are buyers that cashed out on other properties, and rolling that money into new purchases. I could sell any one of my current properties- be able to put down 20% if I was buying this based on my equity.

          • So this has become an exclusive club now? This doesn’t bode well for first time home buyers.

          • Since when did term “a lot” meant exclusive? Most of the first time buyers are probably buying the homes that are being traded up. On occasions some of them, though first timers are wealthy enough to just buy into the up tier market from the jump.

          • I think for people of average means looking to jump into a fully renovated house in a prime part of town maybe. Fha, va, first time buyer programs are still out there and are being used. It’s all about picking your battles starting smaller to go bigger later or moving further out to get more bang for your buck.

        • My statement missed the mark it seems. My query was in regards to qualifying good deals. I’m curious how many ppl are actually putting down 20% to make that a worthwhile starting point to figure out if payments will be “affordable”. I said house specifically because that’s where 20% creeps above 100k more often than not.
          Pmi can also be worked into the loan with a small interest bump which leaves you paying less than if you paid pmi outright.

          • We did 20% earlier this year. It was basically essential to 1) get the best available interest rate, and 2) be considered on homes in our desired neighborhoods. Admittedly, this was in spring/summer; someone bidding in the down season will likely be up against fewer competing buyers. A renovation like this might also be a different scenario; for a flipper, maximizing profit is likely more important than a hassle-free or fast closing. They’re not waiting for this to sell so they can close a contingent offer on a new home, or any of the other time-sensitive scenarios that might be in play for someone selling their primary residence.

    • It’s the American way! Short-term memories 🙂

    • if you can predict with a recession with that much certainty, you must be a very rich person.
      .
      but to answer your question, unless rents decrease, housing prices should be fairly stable. dc did ok in the worst recession since the great depression, so any recession that eventually happens would perhaps be a blip in the radar, but won’t reverse the broader trend of people want to live and own in the city, which is the main factor in increasing housing prices.

      • Since the recession one thing has been constant. Interest rates have not been raised for 9 years. This is not normal.
        When a borrower is approved at 4% to buy a $750,000 flip what is the payment? What is the DTI?
        What happens when rates get to 6% 7% 8%? Borrow $600k at 4% payment is $2864 (not counting tax insurance etc…). Adjust to 7% and you get $3991 a month (not counting taxes and insurance). Things are going to get interesting over the next few years. I predict a drop (small) in housing prices.

        • yes, i didn’t want to write an essay, but i don’t think we have to worry too much about a rate rise. the fed has been agonizing over a .25% increase, so in the next few years, we’d have maybe a 1% increase, and maybe beyond that further increases, depending on the next president (who appoints the fed chair). i’m not rich, so wtf do i know, but i don’t envision this significantly affecting affordability, as it’ll be such a gradual increase and its effect on house prices will likely be countered by inflation.
          .
          overall, i view the imbalance between supply and demand for city living as the larger overriding trend that will stabilize the market. basically, dc has totally different market dynamics than, e.g., arizona, vegas, or florida.

  • Wow, sold in June of this year for $390,000 back on the market before the end of the year and looking like every other flip in the city. I wish they stopped making them all look exactly the same.

    • If you go the suburbs and buy in a community- they are all pretty much the same. What’s the issue if 10 out of 100 row homes look the same inside? Developers have pretty much stolen the floor prints of suburbia townhomes and retro fit them into dc row homes. You only have so much sqft to work it.

  • I think it’s nice. Sure, they look similar. But people like them.

  • I think it’s absolutely lovely. I love beige. Yes, most homes are stages the same, but who really cares?

  • Zestimate is $486k. I understand how off these estimates can be but that’s quite a margin!

  • I live on this block, and although the flip looks well done, I have to think they are out of their minds with this price. The only way they can argue 2000 + square feet is to include the basement, and it’s a good .75 miles to the GA Ave stop (although the bus is convenient). 3/4 of a million dollars for Petworth seems outrageously high.

    • I agree – I think 750K this far north of the GA Ave Metrorail is a bit of a pipe dream, but I’ve been wrong before. 750K (and up!) for Petworth is pretty common, though.

    • Overpriced for sure, though I hope they get it! My guess is it closes for under $700K.

    • My house (~2 blocks away) was wider, nicer (IMO), had a large back yard, huge deck, and walls – sold for $675K last month. Good luck to them, but I think this house is $50K over priced.

    • We live a couple blocks south of here closer to New Hampshire and 4 houses just sold last month (all within the same week it seemed) for close to asking of 800K.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I don’t know values in this area that well. The basement and first floor are quite nice. One of the stated four bedrooms is in the basement. Another of the bedrooms is comically small. No back yard. Developer bought a few months ago for $390K. Given the permits shown on the PIVS page, I suspect they may have exceeded the scope of their permits, as I suspect that they demoed load-bearing walls, which the permits shown online did not cover. (Does anybody own a similar house and know which walls on first floor are load bearing?) Developer is single-property LLC, which does not allay my concerns regarding possible structural modifications beyond scope of permit. I don’t love the prospect of walking home from the metro (or even bus) late at night; though less of an issue for people who mostly drive. All in all, it has some significant pluses, but also some significant minuses. I wouldn’t be surprised if it sells for close to asking, but I definitely do not regard it as a “good deal.”

    • I’d assume they removed load-bearing walls given those main floor columns. If I were looking at this place I’d bite the bullet and pay a structural engineer to assess the load-bearing capacity of the modifications prior to submitting an offer.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Good observation regarding the columns. Unless I was looking at a potential extremely good deal on an unrenovated property that I’m counting on having to do a lot of work on myself anyway, my approach would be, “If it even occurs to me that it might be wise to have a structural engineer check this out, I’ll just pass on this house.”

    • As I noted above, I live on the block (and actually sent this to the Prince). I am looking at renovating myself, so am interested in the eventual sales price. The houses are only 18′ wide, and I don’t think any of the interior walls are load-bearing, but the rear wall is a different story. From the pictures it looks like they have integrated the old back porch into the first floor footprint, which means what was once an exterior wall may have been removed.

    • They likely removed the load bearing wall where the columns are toward the middle of the house as well as one at the rear of the house (as it appears based on the square footage and rear view that they incorporated a previous sleeping porch that would have been appended to the back of a load bearing wall). I’m doing the latter to my house now and the permitting process is exacting (as it should be when load bearing walls are in play!).

    • I’m not clear whether the basement bedroom even has a window, in which case it might not even qualify as a bedroom.
      ,
      Maybe the bedroom wall that’s not shown is the wall with the back door and what appears to be the sole basement window (there aren’t any basement windows on the front side of the house)… but given that the door and window are under a deck AND they face north, that’s likely to be one very dark basement.

  • I like it and I think it will sell for this price. The GDoN in Park View from a couple weeks ago is already pending and it was off the market quick, which shocked me! 769k for a bowling alley condo. Here you get a whole house for less!

  • I think it’s overpriced, but not drastically. They would’ve gotten $750 for it in June, no problem, but probably not in the winter. I’m guessing it’ll go in the $715-25 range.

  • hammers

    why a picture of that random defunct (?) fire house?

    • Yeah, that’s odd. Maybe they don’t realize it’s defunct and was moved to this location to serve as a more attractive cover (if that’s the right word) for Metro-related equipment?
      .
      Full disclosure — I didn’t discover until after I’d moved to the neighborhood that it wasn’t a working firehouse.

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