46 Comment

  • it puts the lotion on its skin.

  • Only if all the ghosts signed away their TOPA…

  • I just shuddered thinking at the amount of dirt and mouse poops I would have to clean up.
    No thank you.

  • justinbc

    Show all days! Make many profit! Excite!

  • I feel like a fresh coat of paint would’ve raised the price by at least $25k. (Unless of course there are serious structural issues that force this into a Flipper Special.)

  • HaileUnlikely

    If structurally sound, probably priced about right for the area. Somebody who wants to live in this area and has a max budget around $700K would do well to consider a house like this and a renovation loan. It blows my mind that a house in this condition could sell for this much, but others nearby that clearly have not been renovated in the past 30-50 years and not particularly nice but not extensively damaged (i.e., safe, clean, and habitable, but most buyers would probably plan to do some renovations) have sold for over $700K recently. Thus, crazy as it sounds, this could be a solid deal for a buyer who is willing to go to the effort and expense of renovating.

    • It’s going to cost a lot more to renovate than 125.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I don’t think that is necessarily true. Somebody who is really determined to spend a lot of money (change floor plan, install high-end finishes, dig out basement, etc) could undoubtedly find lots of ways to spend much more than $125K renovating this, but this could be fixed up and made as nice as or nicer than other houses on this block that have recently sold for $700K+ for less than that.

        • I’m more inclined to agree with neighbor on this one. Figure it needs a new boiler, AC, and roof. You’re at 35K right there, and haven’t even touched the electrical, plumbing, rotting porch, or rear re-pointing. Then you have the lead paint remediation and the asbestos floor tile…this thing is going to be a money pit for an owner-occupant.

          • and the kitchen looks completely unusable unless you think having a place to prep your food is overrated, so that isn’t just going to require a cosmetic update but complete redesign.

          • HaileUnlikely

            For $125K a flipper could turn this into something that buyers would fight over. A flipper can usually get more bang for their buck than a first-time homeowner due to their connections with contractors, negotiating skills, and general idea of how much things should cost, but a homeowner with a good GC and plan could make this as nice as any other house on the block for $125K.

          • Sorry HaileUnlikely but you’re just way off on this one. I’d say 200k+ when all is said and done.

          • I have a question (I don’t know anything about working with brick and am curious). How much would fixing the porch and the rear re-pointing cost?

          • HaileUnlikely

            I accept that I might be wrong, but I don’t find a statement of the general form “Sorry, I’d say …” particularly persuasive. It is easy to spend more than $125K (if you have it, that is). You can ask for a lot and really fancy it up. You can overpay for things. The possibilities are endless. Somebody spending $200K to renovate something does not constitute evidence that it could not have been done for less. I have no doubt that somebody *could* find a way to spend upwards of $200K renovating this. But I am also haile confident that it could be accomplished for much less.

          • I don’t have any idea on the porch, but fixing the brick is probably going to cost more than $5K but less than $10K.

          • Hailie, based on the pictures, I’d bet this house needs something like $75K in systems and structural work alone. I don’t think you can do two baths, a new kitchen, fix the floors, paint, insulation, etc. for $50K, and I haven’t even taken into account new windows or doors.

          • I would imagine someone who can do a lot of the work themselves or can act as their own general contractor could do this for less than $200k. A normal homeowner probably could not. We have spent $160K thus far and our house was “renovated” (albeit very crappily- not the high-end type of flip)- that figure included replacing a rotting sleeping porch with a screen porch, remodeling the kitchen and two of four bathrooms and redoing the basement apartment. Nothing we did was particularly over the top, but we did run into pretty major structural issues and the same asbestos issue in the basement.
            .
            I will say if I had to do it over again I’d have torn everything out at once and hired one contractor to do the entire house instead of doing it piecemeal. Whoever gets this can probably get a better deal than we did, but man does it look like a nightmare.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Sorry you’ve been having such a hard time with your house. Everything I’ve said above was premised on there not being any serious structural issues. I agree that if there are major structural issues, then scratch all of that, the house is definitely not a good deal. I do still contend that a run of the mill developer flip on this property would likely cost the flipper about $125K, but agree that a homeowner who is not knowledgeable about construction and/or tried to do things piecemeal would spend more, quite possibly a lot more.
            .
            I don’t have any horse in this race. I live nowhere near here, honestly am not attracted to this neighborhood, and am appalled with how expensive real estate is in DC. But realistically, I do think this house represents an ok option for an owner-occupant who isn’t able or willing to enter into bidding wars on renovated properties but can afford the time and cost of a complete renovation before moving in (again, assuming no serious structural issues).

        • Is your knowledge of remodeling costs based on HGTV or actual experience? A efficient flipper could turn this around for maybe 150. There is absolutely no way a homeowner can get this done for under 200k. And even that would be a drawn out and time intensive task.
          .
          That’s why people typically buy flipper houses rather than gut renovate themselves. It’s hard.

          My guess would be no flipper would pay over 450 in this neighborhood.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Actual experience, but admittedly doing an atypical proportion of the work myself and having no interest in high-end fancy stuff I can’t afford.

  • Similarly sized renovated houses in the neighborhood are going for 750 or so. This is worth closer to 475-500.

  • What happens to this one will be interesting. It may not offer enough of a profit margin for a flipper but does need some work for anyone with the $$$ to want to live in it. I do think completely emptying it and a coat of paint would give buyers at least some ideas – if for no other reason than they aren’t distracted by something (if only that) which is actually easy to fix – so they can concentrate of what does need to be fixed.

    • +1 to “I do think completely emptying it and a coat of paint would give buyers at least some ideas.” I’m always a little surprised when real estate agents don’t do things like this that one would think would be comparatively easy/inexpensive.

  • I like how the dimly lit rooms accentuate the piles of junk. Does the grime convey?

  • It’s a dump, but the comments suggest that every place should be a generic flipper special. Probably an estate. The appliances look servicable. I suspect the second bath is ancient. Still, someone with decent cashflow and a lack of delicate sensibilities could make it work and eventually make a profit.

    • Agreed.
      .
      The place looks dingy and the photos are unflattering. I wonder if it might actually look better in person than in the photos.

  • “You know what I’ve always wanted? A refrigerator under the stairs!”

  • To answer the original question, this is overpriced for me but probably won’t go for that price especially if a flipper wants it and starts waving around cash and a 2 week closing. I also think this can be redone nicely for around $140-150k. I’m currently rehabbing a house that was in similar if not worse condition.

    Find a contractor that will give you a very detailed and itemized estimate and buy all your finishes (bathroom fixtures, hardware…etc) yourself and you can keep the overall price down. It’s hard to add fluff to an estimate if it’s itemized by task and shows costs for materials and labor. I would also contract stuff like windows out to a large chain. You can usually get a better deal since that’s all they do.

    Appliances – $10K (Costco sells appliance suites for less than this. It includes shipping and installation)
    Flooring (refinish & replace) – $10K+ (a dark stain covers up a lot)
    Lighting – $5k
    Structural – $15K (opening the floor plan and repairing minor issues) (this would obviously be a lot higher if there are major foundation or structural issues but lower if there aren’t any.)
    Plumbing – $7-10K (Try to keep all the bathrooms where they currently are.)
    Electrical – $8-10K (heavy up + rewiring) (rewiring is less expensive if the house is already demoed)
    Windows – $5K (Window World)
    Exterior – $20K (Paint, landscaping, repair of porch, repair window frames)
    Demo – $10-15K (includes dumpster rental)
    General Contractor fees – $20-30K (if not included in price of work)
    Permits – $6K (includes expediting)
    Architect – $10-15K (mine ran 12k but she designed our custom millwork, submitted our permits and took care of the structural plans and inspection)
    Internal doors, trim, drywall repairs & painting – 15K

    Of course every renovation is different and I’m sure I missed something.

    • This seems about right, although based on the pictures the front porch is extremely degraded will be more expensive and I would wager the roof needs to be done too. The siding on the back of the house probably also needs to be replaced. Tack on another 20-30k for that.

      That brings the total to 170-180 if you do some work yourself and acquire your one appliances. 200 or so if you don’t.

      And frankly, if you’re spending 800k on a house it doesn’t make sense to scrimp on the finishes because it hurts resale. So that would push it closer to 230-250.

    • How long did it take you to get all the permits? I’m doing similar work and got quotes that are actually really close to yours, so that’s encouraging.

      • DCRA is backed up now. Apparently there was a crack down and the Mayor is making sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed so things are taking longer. My neighbor, who is a flipper, spent months waiting on permits because he didn’t want to pay the extra $1500 to an expeditor. With expediting, 3-5 weeks.

        Pepco is also in no rush to remove old meters after a heavy-up, so that’s also a thing.

        FYI about submitting plans, if you’re unsure if you can afford some decorative feature (we had a skylight in the shower on our wish list) don’t put it in the plans. Just do it and have it inspected later. Otherwise, you’ll have to resubmit.

    • Some of those numbers seem like best case scenarios. Any time you’re buying an “as is” for a reno, take your best case scenario estimate and add at least 30 or 40% for the ugly surprises you are almost certainly going to encounter. $200K is a much more likely estimate meaning the resale price needs to exceed $850K to make this project even remotely worthwhile. That seems a stretch to me in that neighborhood – by at least $150K.

  • You can live with a half-ass kitchen and laundry as long as the roof holds and the plumbing and heating work. Definitely will need to have all the window frames, trim, prob windows stripped to the wood or replaced due to peeling laters of 100/75/50 year old paint. If you are lucky it’s one recent layer over original wood, those paints from the 1930s are like battleship paint. Will eventually need new roofing (but all houses do.) Rent a sander, buy some varnish, re-do the floors, a bit of drywall where plaster is sagging easy-peasy. If the electric hasn’t been upgraded, that could cost an easy $5-10K. let’s not even mention central a/c. Speaking as the resident of an unfinished fixer-upper, it’s doable…but not if you have kids and especially not kids and a full time job.

    • Only a hazardous materials certified contractor should deal with the paint. Honestly the best thing to do is just tear it out and replace it. Stripping lead paint properly is very costly and labor intensive.

  • I totally forgot about the roof, kitchen cabinets and HVAC. I would add another 20k for these and skimp on something else.

    My contractor said my roof only needed a coat of aluminum paint ($800) so that might not be a budget buster.

    • Heck, Kim, you can do that roof coating yourself for less than $75 in supplies. Forget the $800 and get on up there! I’ve done it. The hardest part was getting the five-gallon bucket of aluminum coating on the roof.

      • No idea if this is the case with Kim, but I’m terrified of heights. DIY roof work would be a no-go for me.

      • @soozles, I do a lot of stuff on my own but I leave the very high and very low stuff to the professionals. LOL There is also some other stuff included in the $800 so I let that one slide.

  • Priced for bidding war. Shells in this area are selling for 625k all cash. A non-cash buyer is going to pay near 700 for this. This is three floors with parking and will sell for the mid 900’s finished and staged very nicely.

    • You’re kidding, right? The only way it’s three floors is by counting the basement. 3 beds, 2 baths, 1,584 square feet. I’m not seeing any recent comparables above $700K, and that’s for a full reno.

  • The previous owner died in the house and was found by a cousin many days later.

    She was a lovely lady who had lived there for a decades but didn’t keep the house up to well due to the costs of renovations. There is a lot of work needed, but houses on this block are going for over 800K.

    The neighbors on this block are awesome and have wonderful children and pets.