Good Deal or Not? “Rear deck perfect for BBQs” edition

by Prince Of Petworth May 3, 2011 at 1:00 pm 66 Comments

This house is located at 1927 2nd St, NW:

View Larger Map

The flier says:

“Completely renovated from top to bottom with attention to every detail. Four bedrooms/3.5 baths including stunning master bedroom w/ walk-in closet and master bath and lower level suite with kitchenette and separate entrance (think potential rental income?). Rear deck perfect for BBQs and entertaining this spring & summer. Parking! Sq. footage is approx.”

You can find more info here and a virtual tour here.

What do you think of the renovation? $629,900 sound right for this 4 bed/3.5 bath?

  • Anonymous

    If there were a little closer to metro I’d stay great deal. Where it is, probably ok… not great, but not bad either. Looks like it is in good condition and that neighborhood has a lot going for it. If it were on 5th or 6th, this would be at least $75k more.

  • Jeremy

    I stopped by there for the open house. It seemed small for the money. The fact that there isn’t a bathtub in the master bath struck me as odd, as did the lack of appliances in the basement b/c it clearly looks like a one bedroom rental unit.

    Realistically, $559,000 should be the listing price, however it’ll probably close for more.

    • Jeremy

      Also, one of the “bedrooms” is tiny. They have it staged as an office at the moment. Felt like it was 4-5 feet across and 7 feet long. Would have a hard time for anyone but a baby living in it..

  • Ledroiter

    I live in the neighborhood and I hope they get it, although I really hate the interior. I don’t find appeal or value in the stripping of quality out of a space in the name of renovation. It’s the easy way out and it looks cheap and devoid of character. Flash forward 2 years from now and the cheap materials will be falling apart.

    • Eric in Ledroit

      Many old houses have been trashed by renters or neglect. Nothing to preserve.

      • AP

        +1 People often comment on these “cheap flips” when they have no idea what condition the house was in before the renovation. It’s hard to preserve something that has already been destroyed.

        • Petworthian

          You can do a complete renovation without it appearing like a “cheap flip” – as this one does. Cheap floors, NO character, absent exposed brick. Very nice curb appeal though – they did the front facade and walkway very nicely.

          • Eric in Ledroit

            exposed brick = no insulation. mixed blessing.

          • Anon

            You insulate common walls?

          • Eric in Ledroit

            you can hear right through brick walls. My common wall is brick and I can hear my neighbors talking to each other.

        • Ledroiter

          I don’t buy that. Saying that there’s nothing to preserve is just a rationalization. This is just a cheap flip and I think most people would agree. You’re right though, I don’t know what condition the hosue was in, but as far as renovations go, this place looks as though there was no thought or care given for design or respect to the house.

          • jch

            Agreed. I looked at a house at 5th and florida which was a cheap flip and it showed in our housing inspection.

          • AP

            I definitely agree that this house could have undergone a higher quality renovation. I mean, the sky’s the limit. But some people would rather add their own personal touches and character. You also have to be careful to not price yourself out of the neighborhood.

          • Eric in Ledroit

            you should have seen my place when i bought after years of being a student housing rental. no maintenance had been done for at least a decade.

            there were some nice original features that we salvaged (chiefly the floors which were under cheapo carpet, the stair rails, and original doors) but it definitely taught me that many houses in transitioning neighborhoods have not been maintained and have limited ‘bones’ to restore

  • ethan

    wow that is quite a flip. it was last purchased for half the current price just four months ago! that developer doesn’t waste any time. too bad the old pictures aren’t available. it looks like they opened up the basement but i would ilke to know what else was done.

  • Anon

    Based on how much things are going for around here, mid 600s to mid 700s, plus some on the market for a lot more, I’d say this is appropriately priced.

    The distance to the metro is inline with what people walk to Petworth, Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, and some of the Orange line stops in Arlington. Its a half mile. This knee jerk reaction that this area is far from the metro is from people who’ve never walked it. Plus its flat, with only one bad intersection – better than many walking commutes.

    Personally, I dont think the neighborhood is there yet. But, the prices of recent houses that have sold indicate otherwise.

    As for its pricing if it were on 5th or 6th street, a lot of people feel more comfortable here than they do on 5th or 6th. This area has very low crime compared to the rest of the city, a lot of families, and a lot of committed residents. Few vacants and few problem houses.

  • jch

    Hasn’t there been a few problems around 1st & v ?

    • Jeremy

      Yup, tons of shootings on a daily basis, people getting mugged, drugs being sold at night.

      (hopes this staves away the gentrifiers)

      • Anonymous


  • Eric in Ledroit

    i live on 2nd street about a block from here, and can attest that the street feels very safe. Plenty of people are out and about or sitting on their porches pretty much all the time.

    Will love this as a comp!

    • Anonymous

      are you planning on selling soon?

      • Eric in Ledroit

        no, i am planning extensive renovations and these comps will help me with financing.

  • MuzinDC

    I live not far from this house and am surprised it’s so low. I haven’t been inside, so I’m guessing there is some weirdness as the other posters have pointed out.

    1st and V does have some crime issues but no more so (and probably less, in some cases) than in other parts of the city (like Columbia Heights) so I don’t think that’s much of a factor.

    The major issue may be not having a full rental unit in the basement. The boarded up house next door may also be an issue.

    There certainly still is a perception that Bloomingdale is a million miles from everything, including a metro. Of course, that’s silly. Try walking to a metro from Adams Morgan. Ain’t one next door.

    I’m biased, but I think Bdale is the grandest part of the city (Georgetown excluded) in terms of architecture, even more so than Dupont which now seems tired and overrun. Shaw has the interesting shops and clubs… and Bdale and Ledroit are the beauitful hoods that abut it.

    • frog

      i live in bloomingdale and also love it, but i would suggest you walk around our city more. it’s not the 2nd grandest neighborhood at all.

    • ryan2499

      The boarded up house shouldn’t be too big an issue given that it is in that state due to the massive fire two doors down at 1923 a few months ago. Not ideal, but a much smaller leap to improvement than if it were just abandoned.

      Here’s the fire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVBy2td0Ohs

    • Suzy

      I moved to Bloomingdale a few months ago, after looking for months around the city and looking for that elusive blend of value, affordability and livability.

      I can’t say enough about the Bloomingdale/LeDroit neighborhood. It is truly a lovely place to live and come home to…I moved from Logan and feel like I have found a true neighborhood here…where people say hello, are working to make the neighborhood better, and well, did I mention saying hello? I’m an urban girl, so I have no illusions about some of the issues here–tagging, some covert drug sales, corner gang hangouts–but these things are overcome by taking a walk in this lovely Victorian village and the reservoir, talking to neighbors about their gardens, dogs and just idle chatting–this is one of the most idyllic places I have lived as an adult.

      For my friends who were concerned by my moving so “far away” and asked whether I was going to buy a car–let me also weigh in to say that it is more convenient living here than Logan Circle–regular bus service cross town and down town–and a 10 minute walk to Shaw/Howard. And enough cabs going by to keep me addicted to my cab habit.

      Many things are happening in a positive direction–it would just be nice to have visible action from our Mayor to address systemic issues that lead to crime and vandalism. Really a disappointment to finally commit to being a DC resident and taxpayer and to see the response from DC Government. Don’t get me started.

  • MuzinDC

    ooops.. I meant to say 2nd and V…

  • EPF

    There isn’t anything interesting about this house at all. Surely some detail could have been saved or some interesting architectural feature have been installed?

  • MuzinDC

    ooops again.. I probably should’ve said 2nd street (based on DC Crime map), rather than just 2nd and V, has crime issues.

    Everyone just needs to move to 16th street heights and be done with it.

  • Petworthian

    I have concluded after looking at many of these virtual tours that I do not like exposed brick (except in bars). I think I would grow VERY tired of it. But I guess some people dig it.

    Hate the beveled edge prefinished floors. Reeks of cheap construction.

  • MuzinDC

    Have you all seen this place at 2211 First Street, NW? I checked it out this weekend. It’s spectacular and an example of Bloomingdale homes — or at least their potential.


    • Anon

      That place isnt perfect by any means. The details are not worthy of a 850k house. Its not even that they used cheap materials (cant tell from the pictures) but the white pain/light wood combo is atrocious, for instance. Also, I dont care for the floors.

      A better comp can be found on T Street, near Rustik. That place is beautiful. It may have already sold, but it was great and was priced in the high 700s

  • frog

    i always look at these house that people say are “cheap flips” and all of them are still nicer that the old ass house i grew up in. or the cheap ass new townhouses with paper thin walls i rented in college. or the ratty ass big apartment buildings i lived in after college. maybe ya’ll are used to sweat sweat luxury, but this place looks like very nice living to me.

  • Devoe

    Seems very reasonably priced – a house on the unit block of Seaton (70 or 74 Seaton) just sold for $750k, and this is about half a block from a house that sold for just about $900k a couple months ago.

    I could see this selling for plus/minus $10k of asking, or maybe even more on the high side.

  • Anonymous

    Although some people will dislike the open floor plan and exposed brick, this house seems to be a market-rate deal (perhaps not a good one, but at least not heinously overpriced). Yes, it looks kind of bland, but anyone looking to sell a home knows that you don’t want to invest time and money into crazy finishes that will limit the appeal of the home; if you can’t figure out what to do with it, then hire a decorator and he/she will create a beautiful home for you with this space. I appreciate the deck and new work on the front steps and back yard/parking area – many houses ignore those and leave the new owners to figure it out.

    True to many 3 bedroom row houses, the third bedroom is tiny. The 4th bedroom is actually the basement (and since it’s not advertised as a legal rental unit, I’m assuming it’s not). Those drawbacks are not surprising for this type of house, and a buyer should be expecting them when looking at the house. The location is great (1/2 mile or about 8/9 blocks from the metro) in a beautiful neighborhood a walkable distance to the U street corridor.

    So good deal, or at least a market-rate deal.

  • MichelleRD

    I don’t understand the reasoning or appeal of taking out all the walls on the first floor. Do people actually like that layout? Does it technically increase the square footage of the house? Doesn’t it leave the second floor without sufficient support?

    I hate walking directly into a living room from the outside and then to look all the way to the back of the house with only that sad little island to define the kitchen makes it feel like a large apartment, not a house.

    And it’s just wrong to call this 4 bdrm. The “extra large closet” is really Bedroom #3

    • Anonymous

      my house has the interior walls on the first floor removed and i love it. its lets more light into the interior of the house, makes the space feel bigger and airier, allows me to move things around when i need to, which i do often.
      interior walls of rowhouses are *generally* not load bearing.
      it’s not for everyone, but what is?

      • Anon

        Be careful of interior walls being removed on the first floor. Especially if bathrooms have been added to the second floor, particularly with oversized bathtubs.

      • Petworthian

        You can have an open feeling with free flow of light without this look – absolutely no room definition. You’re right, not for everyone, but it looks like a traditional house trying to look like a loft – exposed brick and all. Yuk.

    • Tres

      Love the downstairs layout. The rooms feel quite well defined to me. I think the kitchen is the heart of a house, so placing it in the center makes a lot of sense to me.

      What I like about it is that you dine in a sun-exposed room. Better than many flips, where you end up chowing down in the middle, which is the darkest area of the house — especially if it isn’t an open floor plan and the walls are closed off. Also, if you want to do some work from home, sitting at a table in a well lit room with a view feels 100x better.

      Open floor plans are more social! You can cook while someone reads a book on the couch and still communicate with them. Putting up walls also kills a party atmosphere, if you’re having a large gathering, IMHO. Big room = better for situating many guests.

  • anon

    Hey…where should we put the electrical panel? How about right in the middle of the living room?!?! And the fish-eye effect of the camera on those tiny rooms…I almost got motion sickness looking through the pictures.

    Not to be a hater…but this is a quintessential flip job. All the basic design bells and whistles people are craving (granite, ceramic tile, etc.) but zero character. Aside from the exposed brick wall…which, will be letting in the smoke and bed bugs after someone finally moves into the vacant property.

    Jeez…I AM a hater…yikes.

  • SF

    I simply must get a wide angle lens for my camera. Makes every room look 3x as large as it is in real life.

  • textdoc

    It looks like both the master bedroom (at the back of the house?) and the dining room look onto a brick wall… not exactly a good thing.

  • Maire

    Aren’t they about to start construction on a big public housing development right around there? Or am I confusing that with a different couple of blocks?

    • Anonymous

      I’ve not heard anything about that.

    • Eric in Ledroit

      You may be thinking of the St. Martin apartments over in Eckington. There are no large public housing complexes planned for Bloomingdale beyond the existing complexes up near W Street.

      • Eckington

        And St Martin’s isnt public housing and has turned out to be far less of an issue than critics had imagined.

        • Eric in Ledroit

          is it occupied yet?

          • Eckington

            Yes, but I dont know at what rate, but every time I’m through there I see people going in and out. The parking garage, when I’ve peaked inside, seems to be fairly full.

            Obviously, keeping crime down and keeping out the folks who are undeserving of “workforce” housing, requires consistent enforcement of the rules.

          • Eckington

            Actually, I have a question for you, Eric. Those rows of public housing you reference, are they all occupied? I thought I read somewhere that they were being reconditioned, demolished, or something and a lot were uninhabited.

            Is that true?

          • Eric in Ledroit

            If St. Martins seriously turns out to be a place where people who are *working* and getting on their feet stay, I will be a huge fan. Do all the units charge some rent (actual cash contributions)?

            Eckington, my understanding is that the public housing is being renovated and will be operated by an organization that has had (per Jim Graham at least) some success in managing low income housing without letting it descend into lawlessness. I have lived here for ten years and definitely noticed the amount of police activity up on W drop after they started closing some of those units to renovate them. The renovated buildings certainly *look* less decrepit than your typical 70’s-era project.

            I am all for helping people with low incomes who are working and trying to better themselves. But living here has soured me pretty seriously on providing any support to people who are idle. Doing so is very, very toxic and destroys families and communities.

        • Anonymous

          those at the top of summit might disagree. it’s gotten much worse there lately.

          • Eckington

            Well, I dont live near there. The problems that have gotten some publicity seems to be, after speaking with neighbors and reading the neighborhood listserv, are older kids harassing/terrorizing younger kids. I did a quick crime stat search and crime is either level or declined in the immediate vicinity.

            Additionally, in my experience, the houses around St Martin’s have some sketchiness, particularly a few houses near that corner store at Summit and U, but everyone I see going in and out of the St Martin’s complex seem to be professional and responsible. There is no loitering, litter, graffiti. All-in-all, I’d say the increase in population due to St Martin’s has made that immediate area safer, not increased crime at all.

            Its easy to throw stones because of the pre-conceived notions of what affordable housing does, but in this instance, I think the reports of it getting much worse are a function of being either more aware of the (extremely limited) crime incidence, or looking for reasons to validate their skepticism about the complex from the start.

          • Eckington

            Sorry, meant to say, I do live near there.

  • Veronika

    This looks like a home depot showroom. Lots of flippers look like this. they tear down walls and think everyone wants their kitchen smack in the middle of a huge empty space… I’ll bet if they had taken a bit of time, done some research about the area and when the house was built, they could have done a better job. Restoration is better than renovation in these homes hands down.

  • muzindc

    I bought a flipper, home depot, lack of character-type house recently and love it. To buy it, I sold a house that was built in 1936 and had a huge amount of curb appeal on the outside and character on the inside — and it was not a fixer upper. In fact, it had been restored. However, despite good maintenance, it had tiny dark rooms, couldn’t accommodate furniture cause every wall had a door, radiator or fireplace, had closets that measured 3 feet wide and one foot deep, and all kinds of ancient wiring, cracking plaster as the house settled, hodgepodge of pipes, and other b.s. Everyone found it “cute and adorable” but it drove me nuts. Don’t get me wrong… I like character, too. Just simply saying that you should be careful about romanticizing the past — including old homes.

  • sotenyearsago

    decent deal; i wonder if the burned home on the corner and the damaged one right next door scares certain buyers that are not familiar with the neighborhood? I’m not sure how long it will take but both adjacent homes damaged by fire will be repaired and restored and add even more value to an already very pleasant and safe block bordering ledroit and bloomingdale

    • Eric in Ledroit

      That fire was a nightmare and no doubt is the worst case scenario for the investors renovating this house (of course, nothing in comparison to the neighbors whose houses were actually burned in it). Very sad situation.

      But yeah this block is incredibly pleasant – living here has taught me that there are actually neighborhoods where strangers smile and greet each other when passing on the sidewalk, something I had never experienced living in Rockville, Silver Spring, and Arlington. It was quite a revelation. Hopefully our newer neighbors will start taking off their iphone earbuds and continuing this tradition…

  • sotwelveyearsago

    Yes hater should know the house next door was damaged by crossover smoke – it is not vacant and owners are waiting on insurance settlements so they can repair and restore.

  • sotenyearsago

    Ms. Walker would be your next door neighbor; lovely wonderful woman.
    Will someone please steal brian brown’s porch dwelling universal machine? Anna cooper house could be one of the most beautiful homes in dc but he and his wife crap it up with indoor fans on the porch (so now they’re droopy) and junk all over the porch and still a mess of a wall project around the property perimeter and finally huge heaping piles of stainless steel equipment sitting in the driveway! 1927 2nd street buyer: its not reason not to live here but man is brian brown’s poor taste and ‘slobbery” annoying!

    • Eric in Ledroit


      This weekend I noticed Brian Brown had redecorated by throwing a king size mattress on the porch alongside his exercise equipment and pool table.

      I am completely mystified by someone who has the money to buy and renovate that house to the point he did, but then can’t be bothered to cut the grass or clear the porch of trash. Its extremely odd.

  • sotenyearsago

    should we organize a hybrid event part flash mob part community clean up? Get fifty neighbors to storm his porch and take all his crap to a dumpster? (Including his droopy ceiling fans!) When will he admit he’s in the wrong and shouldn’t inflict his poor taste and messiness onto the surrounding neighborhood? Also the anna cooper plaque bolted to cmu is tacky and maybe offensive IMO


Subscribe to our mailing list