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Good Deal or Not? “sumptuous” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth May 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm 41 Comments

This home is located at 2200 1st St, NW:

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The flier says:

“Sophisticated Grande Dame completely restored & renovated thruout yet all arch. features maintained. Fabulous entertaining areas on each floor. Vaulted ceilings, granite kitchen w/ ss appliances. Luxury MBR and sumptuous Mstr Bath, Library, Family Room. 2 Fireplaces. All large rooms, no skinny spaces here! Big modern au pair apartment w/ front & back entrances. Zoned HVAC. PARKING!!!!!!!”

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

The reader writes, “I’m actually curious about the pricing on this – for its enormous size it seems low. Though since it’s still at about 3x my budget, I haven’t been watching prices in this range as much. I do love the turret and the wood floors.”

What do you guys think of the house itself – sumptuous? Do you agree with the reader who thinks the asking of $975,000 for this 5 bed/3.5 bath may be a little low? What do you think it’ll actually go for?

  • Bloomie

    Eh… probably an ok deal. I love the top floor turret and it is large. However, it is a hike to the metro and seems oddly laid out. I wish I could see the floor plan. Also, that large of a semi-detached house is going to cost a fortune to heat and cool. Finally, based solely on the pictures, it seems like the roof isn’t in the best of shape. Make sure you get a good inspector. All-and-all, probably an ok deal though.

  • 415

    It’s a very nice house. And there are some great houses in that area. But if I’m paying 1 mil for a house I would want a real yard and to be closer than a mile from the metro. The kitchen looks cheap and generic, nothing that couldn’t be fixed relatively cheap but I would want my kitchen to be a knockout for this price too.

    • Anony

      Agreed. That’s kitchen is ug-to-the-ly.

      I absolutely hate when the cabinets pretty much match the floors. It make a room look completely washed out.

      If you painted the cabinets white it would help a ton.

  • jch

    No back yard just a parking pad and would pass on the location.. Nice house though.

    • Anonymous

      This location is gorgeous. One of the prettiest streets in DC in my opinion.

  • Herb

    I can never get past descriptions of “sumptuous Mstr Bath,” and then you see a $98 toilet. Spend $279 and get the comfort height, baby!

  • Brian

    Bad deal… at least with this house on the market:


    This house has what the 1st house lacks. The 6th Street house has a sweet back yard, carriage house, a lot closer to the metro, and is more updated. Unless you have 5 kids, there is no reason you need the extra 900sf the 1st house gives you. It’s better to have the garage and backyard IMHO. The 6th st house is a lot better deal if you ask me.

    • Bloomie


    • textdoc

      +1. The 6th Street house is $140K less and is close to the Metro.

    • Anonymous

      That one is a beaut, but I think the fact that this one is on First St drives up the price. It really is a gorgeous neighborhood. The homes are generally much more well taken care of than where the 6th St one is.

      • Anon

        I find it amusing that in the photostream for the 6th St house they have pictures of Windows Cafe and Yoga District … on 1st St in Bloomingdale.

        • Anon

          Also has pictures of Taylor/Safeway and others. I think the point is the 6th St. house is pretty centrally located. Which is true. First st. is not nearly as convenient (with the exception of Yoga and Windows).

          • Anon

            Right, which is ironic that they featured 1st St in the ad. Why not go whole hog and put up pictures of U St and Gallery Place? Basically the same distance.

    • BDale Res

      While the Bdale house doesn’t have a super fancy kitchen, it is a pretty massive house and sq ft sells. So the bdale house is the better deal of the two. 2x the size… This Shaw house has Home Depot/Lowe’s Special fixtures etc, its cramp has an unfinished carriage house. Imagining working out in that garage during a hot summer day. Bikram Weights anyone? The Bdale house has quite a large yard, the pics don’t do justice to it. One can make a backyard out of it actually. Also views of the city are worth some cash. Anyway, I personally think they are both priced high, but the Shaw one is especially priced high. I would be surprised if either house goes for as much as they are asking.

      • Bloomie

        Hate to tell you this, it is not “2x the size.” The lot size is the same exact size. one is three stories, the other is 4. The first st house is including the basement in the sf while the 6th st house is not (technically, you are not supposed to include below grade in the listing). This house is approx. 915 sf larger. They are both approx. $270/sf. So really it comes down to which is the better value. Have to agree with Brian: Garage (even if it includes unfinished loft space– better than nothing!), private backyard, and other updates (solar!), make the 6th St. house a lot better value. Says something that the First St. house is breaking the rules by including the below grade area in their square footage. Makes me wonder what else is wrong in the listing.

        • BDale Res

          still livable space and a pretty massive rental at that. I’m just going off what I see on quick glance. tit for tat, it significantly larger…there is no arguing that.

    • Anonymous

      “Unless you have 5 kids, there is no reason you need the extra 900sf the 1st house gives you.”

      how do you know people don’t have reasons for extra space? very omniscient of you.

    • Tres

      That’s an apples and grapefruits comparison. If the second house has an extra 900 sq ft, that’s 50% bigger.

      How long ago was that first GDoN in B’dale that listed over $1 mill in the new economy? I know we’ve looked at a couple — they tend to actually sell at $850k+.

      Here’s a comp that sold quickly about 18 months ago: http://franklymls.com/DC7064615

      A lot has changed in 18 months. I wouldn’t be surprised if this house sold at $950k+. Kitchen is only liability.

    • Anon


      No way. The 6th street house is nice but has a terrifying basement, and also a small livingroom. I lived in something similar and was never able to seat more than three people at a time. Plus, not everyone wants to be next door to a metro. I agree that the Bloomie house is a bit of a hike, but that can be a good thing, particularly if you don’t ride metro often. Bloomingdale is a different vibe from Shaw. If I had kids, I’d rather them running around the streets of Bloomindale. A house like this would be good for that.

      • Anonymous

        i went to the open house on 6th street yesterday. it’s a very nice house, but it’s really small. all 3 of the bedrooms upstairs range between small/medium and so small that they have a massage table and not a twin bed (looks like current owners use it as an in-home massage studio). the basement has very low ceilings, especially in the bedroom. i’m only 5’4″, but it felt alice-in-wonderlandy to me.

        • Anon

          Really? I went to the open house too and didn’t find two of the bedrooms small at all. They had a queen size bed in the second bedroom along with a big chair and bookcase. The master was really large. What are you comparing the bedrooms too? The third bedroom was small, but all the houses I’ve seen have a similarly sized small third bedroom (most have much smaller second and master bedrooms than the 6th street house). Agree on the basement though. But who really cares, it is rented out and you don’t have to live with it. I thought the main areas were really nice. A bit out of my price range, but better than anything else I’ve seen lately.

  • BF

    Kitchen – yuk. Not only are those cheeeeeeeep cabinets, but the complete design of the kitchen is poor. For 1 mil, you want a modern kitchen that is not cut off from the rest of the house, as this one appears. Someone is going to spend a lot of money renovating that kitchen – it is not simply a matter of ripping out cabinets and replacing them with more expensive ones. This is a total redo. 25-50k at least.

    Rest of the house – pretty nice, although again, there are some wierd choices. Its like they had good ideas and then ran out of money and plopped cheap fixtures, etc. in to complete the renovation.

    Master bath – yukyukyuk. Those garden tubs are so 90’s.

    Overall I think it may be an ok price but I see a lot more money going into re-renovating this place.

    • Shaw

      I had the same reaction when seeing the kitchen and the soaking tub. Hated both. However, anyone dropping this kind of cash for a house presumably will not have a problem spending another $25-$40K to upgrade the kitchen/bathroom.

      I also agree with another poster that this section of 1st St is some of the most beautiful, well kept realestate in the city. These large corner homes are gems.

      The home will go for asking price easily.

  • Anon

    This will be interesting to watch. The one on the corner of 1st/V went for $850K, and that was a smaller layout and had, ummmm, *questionable* design choices built in; list was $950 or so? Had more outdoor space. I think the W St house is better overall (and leaps and bounds on the interior). However this plays out it will be interesting for the house across the street (SW corner of 1st/W). That one was on for over $1M and then dropped to the mid-900s, not sure if it’s even officially still listed. Great details remain inside, but they really cheaped out on the reno. Can’t see that one going any higher than 850 with these as comps.

    Bloomingdale is kind of weird right now; the high end ‘grande dames’ of 1st Street haven’t quite hit the magical $1M mark yet, but some comparatively pedestrian rowhouses on the side streets are routinely hitting 600s and even 700s on occasion. The value line is getting a bit blurred, but that’s great for “normal” houses in the area. The deep backyard spaces mid-block make them more attractive for families who are increasingly buying up available stock. Might explain the difference.

    • Tres

      I love the notion of a “magic numbers”. So much of this is psychological.

      Once the first the first $1 mill transaction happens in B’dale, it’s going to profoundly affect the way new buyers view the hood. I think high end homes are going to creep up to the upper $900k’s for awhile before pushing through.


    This house is slightly less than .75 miles from the Metro (google maps has it as a 15 minute walk). That’s not 1 mile. In fact saying that it’s 1 mile increases the actual distance by 33%.

    People doen’t realize that a large portion of Bloomingdale and all of Ledroit Park are actually very wakable to the metro. Pretty much anywhere within Ledroit Park, and much of Bloomingdale) is w/in a half mile to the metro.

    • Petworthy

      Also at the risk of being non-urbanista, I lived in Bloomingdale for six years and commuted by car to work. It was great for that – quick exit to either NY Ave or 395. To get to U St or Logan I biked. The metro was a bit of a hike, but I didn’t really miss it.

      • CA

        +1! I live in LeDroit/Bloomingdale and drive more than most would view as acceptable in a major city. I think the metro is hot and prefer to hop in my luxury car to zip around town during the week and cab weekend evenings. When it is nice, like the last few weeks, I can walk to U Street in 15 minutes or a few blocks to Big Bear for coffee.

        I suspect most people in this price range for real estate would do something similar.


    And… just to put it in perspective, it’s basically the same distance from the Metro as Logan Circle

  • Anonymous

    isn’t bloomingdale way out in maryland?

  • eli

    love this block. this is a truly beautiful place to live, the shaw house is just okay IMO. w/ a roof deck here in bloomingdale, you can see the whole city.

  • skeptic

    Don’t forget there is a premium for end-units… so much more light. And I’d say even more for one with a turret and side bump-out like this one… just adds some uniqueness and character (yes, the kitchen choices lost some character too). Also the basement looks much better in terms of light and attractiveness in the 1st st house.

    • Anonymous

      Although both Shaw and Bloomingdale are in transition, Shaw, including 6th street, still has a much more urban and somewhat ghetto-ish feel. It still needs a lot of in-fill. You get a house next to a school next to a store next to a project. Bloomingdale holds together much more as a neighborhood, and families are probably more likely to buy a big house there. Not being beside a metro or bar probably isn’t a big deal for them.

  • Adam

    As the basement resident in this house I can attest to the abundance of light. There are windows in every room, which is rare for a sub level apt.

  • CP

    i am positively DIGGING the oddly eclectic animal theme going on in this house. did they seriously put an alligator skull, zebra skin rug, and mini stone elephant stools all in the same room…? WINNING :D

    forget thinking good-deal-or-not, i’m thinking: are these people available to help me decorate my place?!?!

    • truxtonite


  • LisaT

    Much prefer the 1st St house, and if I had the money I’d go $925k for it–because CLEARLY that kitchen has to be gutted and redone.

    Re the 6th St place–“Looking for heaps of hardwood, buckets of brick, gobs of granite, scads of stainless & a plethora of panache?”


  • eastof9

    I agree with the OP. The listing price struck me as a little low for a large end unit, so I think it’s probably a good deal. I didn’t realize that it just had a side yard, so maybe that’s part of the pricing. I’d much rather live 1st St. than 6th, but to each his own.

  • Map

    The owner really likes browns.


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