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by Prince Of Petworth May 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm 25 Comments

This home is located at 1225 10th St, NW:

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The flier says:


You can find more info here and photos here.

$850,000 sound right for this carriage house?

  • MichelleRD

    $800K??? Good grief. Hell No.

    I don’t have the right to be pissed off about it, but I will be if someone pays that price for a carriage house in an alley.

    • Kev29

      I’m guessing that a most of the price has to do with the fact that there is potential for future development on the lot (“BUT NOT GUARANTEED”, they scream). Basically buying a 3,500 sq ft lot that happens to have a modest carriage house on it.

    • anon

      there are some majorly cool carriage houses in the city. they usually go per sq foot the same as the surrounding houses. the negative of having something unique is offset by having something cool. they just need to be renovated nicely, but the nice ones are really sweet. not sure about this one.

  • Dr. Grundle

    The ALL CAPS POSTING makes me automatically ignore it.

  • Rock

    I have no idea if this is a good deal, but I think what you get here is a buildable front lot with an existing carriage house. So it’s not really fair to judge the value of just the carriage house.

    • JS

      This is correct. The asking price is based on development potential, not the existing structure.

  • joker

    Hehehe…um, no.

    The place by the looks of it in the photos is probably a tear down. Certainly no one is going to pay 850K to live there.

    So they’ve priced it hoping to cash in on the land and someones desire to build condos, but apparently realtor can’t count because even if someone wanted to build a 4 unit condo building there in this decidely non-prime location, they certainly wouldn’t spend a prorated 212K per condo just on the land to build it on.

    Thanks for the laugh though, Mr. Realtor.

    • joker

      Just to add some numbers to the story to illustrate how ridiculous this is lets do this.

      Average price per sq/ft for residential stick-built construction with average finishes is ~185 per sq/ft.

      Assume a 4 unit condo structure.
      Assume all 4 condos are 1300 sq/ft 2bd/2ba

      1300 x’s 4 = 5,200 sq/ft. Add in another 10% (520 sq/ft) for common spaces and building utility/mechanical rooms and the total sq footage is ~5700 sq/ft.

      5700 sq/ft x’s $185 sq/ft = ~ $1 million

      Add in the 850K cost and the total price to buy the land and build the condos is 1.85 million

      Divide that by 4 to get an approximate per unit cost to the developer and he would have spent $463,000 per condo just to buy and build it.

      Of course this doesn’t include any of the design/architecture costs, legal costs, financing or holding costs, doesn’t include any of the marketing and selling costs such as realtors fees to sell the units.

      Add that all up and the guy would have to sell each of those condos for $500K just to break even.

      Nope, bad deal…anyway you look at it.

      • anonymous

        good analysis. curious where the $185 sq/ft is from, that seems a bit high. nice hardwood flooring is not more than 15 sf installed. but i am not a developer.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t forget about the carriage house. It is in great shape and it can be included as a fifth unit in the development.

    • Anon

      Realtors don’t set the prices. Owners set the prices.

  • houseintherear

    Seems like a pretty cool way to be able to live on your property while building the house of your dreams, if you have the money and are willing to spend it. Good location, considering the empty lot possibilities.

    I love living in a carriage house, mostly because of the noise (or lack thereof). It’s like a silent oasis back in my “alley”… and I have a huge yard AND parking. If you like the lofty, open space living kind of feeling, a carriage house is the right way to go!

    • houseintherear

      Also, I’d think once the main house is built you could break the lot and sell the carriage house for a pretty penny. I wish I had the money for this, so many possibilities!

  • crin

    $850 gets you a lot with a carriage house and room for a four story building on 10th that could result in 2-4 units. If built out to 5 units and each units sells for $300K (conservatively), that’s $1.5M. Can you keep construction and commission costs around $350K? If so, you make $300K at the end of the project.

    $850 might be high, but it’s in the ballpark.

  • dtr

    this is a great block on 10th street and in my opinion is ideally located. I looked at a house across the street a few years back and was really impressed with the block. Houses on this one block – when they are for sale – go for above 1 million. Only someone with some definitive development experience should take this one on. I believe this is in the Shaw Historic district on the 10th street side and then you have the Blagden Alley historic historic on the back. So any potential development will require jumping through many hoops.

    • MichelleRD

      Which is why it’s “LIKELY COULD … BUT NOT GUARANTEED”

  • JenDC

    I love this neighborhood; in theory, I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that property would be selling at this rate.

    But the carriage house is not the only structure on this property. I don’t know if they have already sold the main house separately, or if the owners decided to keep it – but whatever hoops one has to jump through in light of the historical designation (as noted by another commenter) add in the multiple hoops of either coming to terms with the other structure’s owner about your development plans or assuming the costs to legally divide or re-designate the lot.

    Of course lots get subdivided all the time – but it certainly complicates the process (e.g. the off-street parking only has one access point if I recall correctly).

    @Joker – note your calculations assume min. 5700 sq feet – lot size is 3500. Doubt any potential for 4 2BR condos here.

    But hey, if someone is intent on building their dream home; is willing to build vertically on the existing carriage house footprint; and has the kind of cash to purchase the property and take-on the tear-down and re-build, it IS a primo location.

    My guess is the owner may have to wait a while for the right buyer…

    • joker


      You realize lot size and square footage of livable space are two completely things? The Lot may only be 3500 sq/ft, but you could build a 2 story building 2 condos on each, each story 3500 sq/ft, 3 stories, 4 stories etc so on and so forth as zoning allowed.

      How do you think 400,000 sq/ft commercial office buildings downtown fit on 50,000 sq/ft lots?

    • Stella

      In this case, the carriage house IS the only structure on the property. It appears the “main house” was demolished some time ago, hence the large empty lot in front of the carriage house.

  • Tyler

    There are people out there that have the money and will spend it no matter what the price if the location is unique, etc. It is located near Blagden Alley/Naylor Court. The location itself is almost the same as it was in the 1860’s in terms of layout. I live in the neighborhood and it’s always a fun place to walk through. Can I afford the price? No. That’s why I walk through it.

  • T res

    @joker – it will sell and probably fetch the asking price. 10th Street is a highly sought after street in the Logan/Shaw neighborhood and the alleys behind are turning into a very hip artists community. DC’s highest priced restaurant (Rogue 24) is being built out in an old warehouse building directly behind this property in the alleys. And with the city’s largest hotel being built two blocks away, the demand for food and beverage will drive a lot of new bars and restaurants demand on 9th. The rowhomes on 10th already fetch over $1 million.

  • dtr

    Upon further investigating this appears to be the property that has been vacant on 10th street for years. Looking at the permits pulled and other data it looks like they tried to raze the structure on 10th street in 2009 but failed — my guess is do it’s historic status. This property is in both Historic Districts as I suspected.

    So this is my question. Being that this was a “readers request” I’m assuming owner. What are you hiding? Are you trying to prevent a vacant classification? Is the main structure included in this sale? My strong suspicion is that you are a derelict owner trying to avoid the vacant tax classification.

    • Stella

      Having seen this property this week, I can assure you, this home is definitely not vacant, and is, in fact, super-neat.

    • Anonymous

      Agree with Stella. I live a couple of doors down. A cool older artist lady lives/works in the carriage house. The old structure that fronted on 10th St (just the front wall of a townhouse) was pulled down about a year ago.

  • G

    Just to clear a few things up.
    There were two 13 foot wide house on 10th Street at one time. One was torn down decades ago, the remaining building, a totally gutted shell in very poor structural condition was torn down about a year ago (legally), the property owner saved the many lovely historic bricks and they are stored on the property. I have no idea if the bricks convey. Drive by and you can see the gate that was installed before the house on the southern half of the property was torn down, attached to a piece of the old wall and a fence added recently to close off the lots after the demolition.

    So what you have is a lot that is 26 feet wide and about 100 feet deep, at the rear you have the carriage house that is around 35 feet deep and 26 feet wide.

    Given the R4 zoning that allows a unit for every 900 square feet or ground, it appears that one can build a 3 unit townhouse, 26 feet wide on the front, about 60 feet deep, and stay within matter of right on zoning. Then you also have the carraige house – the top floor can be a 4th unit and the lower level for parking. All that leaves room for a pretty nice yard. Alternatively the rear of the property could also have a commercial use. Yes Rogue 24 is coming in that alley.

    I’d say the carriage house alone could sell for around $500-700K as it has a livable apartment, so the land is almost going for nothing. A carraige house in Naylor Court (the next block north) just sold for $55Ok and it is a total gut job. That one was R4 zoned on a 26 feet wide by about 60 feet deep by two stories and on a lot 26′ x 95′ deep.


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