Ok, Another House Purchasing Question

by Prince Of Petworth February 12, 2008 at 10:49 pm 11 Comments

IMG_6793, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

So I’ve often noticed that developers often scoop up the corner rowhouses when they go for sale. I can see the appeal would be more windows, a bigger yard, and possibly less noise due to one less neighbor. So a simple question: what is the premium for owning a corner rowhouse? Is it like $50k more than the house to its left? $75k more?

  • I seem to recall a hedonic analysis that said, other things equal, corner lots were -$4,000 or so. Also, alley access was -$10,000 IIRC. But the study was sponsored by some weird libertarian landuse/anti-planning think tank. And it might not have sampled dense urban development.

    Also, I get a hoot out of the term “hedonic analysis.” What, did you think economists were square?

  • I don’t know the premium, but I remember one of my contractors telling me that I was saving good money on my heating bill by being attached on both sides, and not letting it all seep into an alley.

  • A true corner unit might be worth a few extra dollars, but with an alley corner, one value-added bonus would be the steady flow of the Urine Of Total Strangers (UOTS)! I’ll bet the folks mid-row wish they had a bit o’ THAT action!

  • Just J

    Speed, a corner house will usually sell before an identical house in the middle of the block. Flipping houses is all about speed.

  • Nikki

    Actually, a corner house isn’t so great. You spend more for heating and cooling, and are more likely to get robbed because your house is more accessible.

  • Jason

    Yes interms of heating and cooling corner houses are not good.

    Also not to forget that mid raw house has structural support from both side where as corner houses’ side wall tends to bulge out. If that is not taken care with, in worse case, the building may collapse as the house on Quincy and N.H. Ave did two weeks back.

    However, in condo conversion, corner houses are favorable by the builders since extra windows make easy to do the condo conversion.

  • I just purchased a non-corner row house in 16th St Heights. On the same block, there was a corner house for sale that is still on the market, and has been for a while. The two houses are difficult to compare: my house is much smaller on the inside and my house also had not been completely refurbished, like the corner house had. So like a lot of things, it depends on a lot of factors.

    Having said all that, the corner house was listed for about $100,000 more. But I guarantee it won’t go for near that in this market.

  • Actually, the more I look at that photo, the more I think that’s actually the house I’m talking about. Is it on Buchanan Street?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    It’s from 16th St. Heights so probably is the one you’re speaking of…

  • Amy

    I bought my corner row house in 2004 for $307,500 a year later two middle units on my row sold for $375k each. So I think it primarily depends on the market. My land area is 3882 as opposed to 2886 but according to dc.gov the house square footage is the same, although I think mine is slighty bigger inside.

    There are lots of advantages/disadvantages to living on the end…it cost me $5K to replace my windows b/c I had 15 windows to replace not counting the 6 the previous owner replaced. I’m right on the alley too so people park right up against my house etc etc. But I like it there and the inside is beautiful so that is all that really matters.

  • Toby

    There’s an end house near us, for sale by owner. The original price was ridiculous, the house a mess inside and totally unrenovated but you could at least sleep in it. Something tells me the people can’t afford the mortgage and want out, so they’ve put the house on the market. They want over $600 K for it. If they get it in this market, it will be a miracle.


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