GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 1927 2nd St NW

by Prince Of Petworth July 8, 2011 at 11:30 am 35 Comments

Hipchickindc is a licensed real estate broker and a professional artist. Her official real estate bio is here and her art website is here. Unless specifically noted, neither she nor the company that she is affiliated with represented any of the parties or were directly involved in the transaction reported below. Unless otherwise noted, the source of information is Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), which is the local multiple listing system. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property: 1927 2nd St NW
Legal Subdivision: Ledroit Park
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: LeDroit Park
Original List Price: $629,900.
List Price at Contract: $629,900.
List Date: 04/08/2011
Days on Market: 13
Settled Sales Price: $689,900. $629,900
Settlement Date: 06/07/2011
Seller Subsidy: $11,000.
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No
Type Of Financing: FHA

Original Good Deal or Not post is: here

Both the before and after renovation listings can be seen: here. The virtual tour for the most recent renovated sale can be seen here.

Many neighborhoods in the city continue to see an active wave of renovations. There are clearly both cash investors able and willing to close quickly on properties that are in disrepair, as well as buyers on the back end, willing to spend on revived housing stock. This LeDroit Park home (which, in this case, could have also been appropriately advertised as Bloomingdale) is a classic example. In February 2011, a cash buyer paid $315,050, which was above the listed price of $299,995. and closed a mere sixteen days following the contract date.

Continues after the jump.

Inventory for available homes for sale in LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale is tight, so it’s not a total surprise that there’s a rise in sale prices. There are currently only twenty six active listings in the neighborhood. Since the beginning of 2011, there have been 57 settled sales of fee simple homes, with a median marketing time of 24 days, and an average sale price of $531,294. Comparing to the same time period last year (1/1/10-7/7/10), there were 44 settled sales of fee simple homes, with a median days on market of 20, and an average sale price of $461,058.

  • 4:15

    Hey Hipchick-

    DC has to be one of the best cities for someone who does quality “flips” these days. Would you agree?

  • Recent data (Case Shiller, rbi) suggests that DC is one of the best cities to invest in real estate period.

  • nettie

    I can’t believe they bid up $60K ($60K!!!) in this market in that neighborhood. Am I reading that right? the offer price was $629 and the final was $689, even with the seller subsidy of $11K this seems too high priced.

    • g

      why does that surprise you?

  • 14th St Heights

    Oh look! An open floorplan (read cheap) where all the original wood was removed. Hideously sterile and uninteresting.

    • Lei

      With most flips going this route these days…. it kind of makes you wonder if houses with all the original (or most of it) detail left are going to be more valuable in say 10-20 years.

      • Tres

        The other side is a gorgeously weathered old floor needs to be replaced sooner than a new one. You can only refinish so many times. A lot depends on the treatment of previous owners.

        I also don’t think a closed floorplan is all that more expensive. How much do a few walls cost, relative to the price of the home?

        • 14th St Heights

          If you gut laterally stud to stud, it’s probably cheaper to run new wiring rather than having to go through walls and studs, etc. Also, less spent on baseboards, crown etc. because, hey, no mitering necessary except at those four corners. IMHO.

          You are right about the floors. My 100-year-old floors could stand being replaced in places. Hoping not to have to do the whole thing.

        • Lei

          Yeah, obviously not everything can be saved 100% all the time. However, my point is that the types of houses were things are all original (and in very good condition) could become more rare.

          There was a beautiful flip around the corner from me. It entailed opening up some of the house but not exactly making it one giant open room. The thing I really dislike about this one is the 30 pot lights in the ceiling and all the duct works makes it seem choppy. Plus is that an electrical panel in the living room???? They didn’t even center it so you could hide it.

  • Lolly716

    I’m curious how the new buyers qualified for a FHA loan when the property is completely renovated. That allowed them to put less than 4% down… makes me think of the quote about those who fail to remember the past being destined to repeat it.

    • Lolly716

      Er, I was thinking about a different type of loan re repairs, but still.

  • SF

    Somebody paid almost $700K for this flip? Wow. Not a good price, IMO, especially with FHA financing. I’m surprised they were able to meet the appraisal requirement.

    Congrats to the neighbors. That comp deserves a champagne toast.

  • This sold at list price. I’ve asked PoP to amend.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Hipchick- quick question. Commenters on this site, as well as lot of others, seem to question the quality of a quickly flipped house. Is this an urban legend? Or is there something to this, where a home inspection might not uncover the true quality?

    • These same materials used in a suburban location might be received differently. I’m personally biased toward keeping as much of the original solid wood trim,floors, etc., but it’s true that it’s not always possible. Regarding contractors, I’d say there can be a wide range of quality of both work and materials. I’ve seen some amazing renovations and some that are horrible, and a lot of in between.

  • Tres

    I feel like this should have gone for less, given the lack of second kitchen and the size of the 3rd bedroom. $620k doesn’t seem unreasonable, however, in an upward trending neighborhood in an upward trending city. Maybe by this time next year, homes like this will break above the $650k mark and inch toward the $675k’s — depending on debt ceiling resolution, FHA limits, etc.

  • Rock

    This discussion comes up at least once a week in the comments. There’s not a rash of flippers going into stunning old houses and tearing out beautiful antique trim. Not all houses were even originally built with beautiful woodwork; often they were built for lower-income buyers 100 years ago. In other cases, the properties have been so badly beat up that there’s nothing left to save.

    And yes, houses with traditionally floorplans can be lovely — but they require a very large house. Most rowhouses in DC that retain the traditional layout have very tiny rooms that are hard to live with. Sure, the open floor plan trend might be a little cliched now, but it also makes a relatively small rowhouse much lighter and more livable.

    There are of course good flippers and bad flippers, just like there are good and bad new home builders. But to make these sweeping judgments about destroying the character of an old house or reverting to a dated open floorplan just isn’t coming from someone who’s in touch with the realities of the situation.

    • Tres


      • 14th St Heights

        In fact, most DC rowhouses DID come with the beautiful woodwork. Alot of it is oak or hardwood pine that has only gotten harder with age. yes, it takes a lot of work to strip, sand, scrap, and patch. I’ve done it, and it takes a long time, but it can be done. And replacement pieces are still available, and I’ve done that too.

        The houses that used to have rooms downstairs (traditional floorplans) do not have to be “very large” in order to be liveable. My first one is 18 feet wide– pretty standard—and the second is 22 feet wide, a little bigger, but not huge. They both are adorned with the original wood trim, much of which we sanded down, patched, and painted. There is natural light in all the rooms because that was how they were designed, and in my opinion, ripping out the walls does destroy their character. I understand the realities of the situation. I really do.

    • Anon

      +2. The “bad flip” arguments are only valid if we can see the before pictures. Did it have intact stained hardwood moulding that they just ripped out because they didn’t want to re-finish? Or was that moulding falling off/rotted or covered in 5 layers of lead paint? Does every renovated house need to be a period correct restoration? I know for some that answer is “Yes”, and I also suspect that many of them can afford the serious money that is required to make it happen. For those of us with the means to just buy a SFH or rowhouse in this city there isn’t much of a choice.

    • victoria

      Also you can do a whole lot with furniture placement to “break up” a long narrow open floor plan.

      • victoria

        Have to add – ceiling pot-lights are always – always! horrible! A bad bad extremely bad ugly stupid choice except if really needed in a basement. Don’t do this at home!

        • Lei

          The 30 pot lights aren’t the biggest issue here… it looks like the put an electrical panel in the front room and it is so close to the window you can’t even hide it.

          I have pot lights in my living room and I hate them.

        • Anonymous

          what a strange design rule you have. i like them and they make for a great work light source.

          i would add that they should always be on dimmers though.

  • anon

    The term “flip” seems to have taken on a religious connotation for some… like “family values” or “freedom.” They use it with disgust when they just don’t like something and can’t form a coherent argument most people will agree with.

  • Anonymous

    This is the first time I’ve ever seen anybody say anything nice about a flip! As an owner of one, I like the open floor plan for functional reasons as the commenter above said. But I don’t care if particular people, who are more likely to comment on this blog, disagree with my taste in homes. The market tells me enough people agree with me :)

    • greent

      The market tells nothing, as it is not a person. What your analysis of the buying trends shows you is different from what it shows me. What I see are people are buying what they can afford of stock that is available. This does not equate to what people want.

      I want a steak dinner. I can only afford a veggie burger. Do you think this makes me a vegetarian?

      • Tres

        The market is a record of choices people have made based on different options: house vs. condo, open vs. closed floorplan, this neighborhood vs. that one, etc.

        Applied to the open floorplan debate, your example should be more like:

        I want a veggie burger with mustard, but I can only afford a veggie burger.

        Almost no people are affected by the small cost increase associated with mustard/walls. Therefore, a record of how many people over time choose mustard tells us how popular it is as a condiment. The sandwich shop owner is not going to stock lots of mustard if his records show mustard isn’t selling well. Flippers as a group aren’t going to do lots of traditional-floorplan flips if the records show them to not sell well.

  • 14th St Heights

    Point taken. Someone is paying the big bucks for these arrangements, and kudos to them.

  • tom

    The house looked really sad to me, from that listing. Unfinished, with the kitchen floating in the middle, looking tiny and incomplete. Possibly a combination of bad staging [insipid wall color, lack of furniture] and poor photos which make the rooms look small and cramped. On positive side, the deck stood out and looked very welcoming.

    • Lisa

      Er, on the positive side, the place sold. ’nuff said. Doubt anyone cares what you think.

      • 14th St Heights

        Ouch. I, for one, was interested in Tom’s comment, FWIW, which isn’t much, I’m sure.

  • H Street Landlord

    Thanks for the info. Bloomingdale is doing quite well, understandably.

    I think this house is nice. Completely re-done compared to how it was before.

  • DC Carpenter

    I while I watch this site religiously, I have never felt the need to comment before tonight. I honestly haven’t looked at the before and after pictures or the house but if the flipper payed 315 and walked out close to 700 he made a killing, surely doesn’t have at the max more than 120 into it. but the arguments about “open plan” versus “old woodwork” are just stupid. This is a DC row house, from looking at it it is 20ft wide on the lot, 19 interior, built between 1908 and 1916, there are a ton of them in the city, they were the “builder” houses of the day, nobody hand carved the trim, it was made by machines at that point same as now. While I appreciate historic preservation there are 100s of this exact houses in the city with the exact trim and I can run out to T.W Perry and buy tomorrow, as opposed to wasting time and sanding layers of lead based paint off of it and “loving” restoring it. There are good flips and bad, but the number of walls removed or floor boards taken up has nothing to do with it, it is still about quality of work, and actually fixing things as oppose to glossing them over. I will always argue that if you want a great DC row house regardless the “style” you will do better to drop the entirety of the inside and build it new. The cost per square ft of a new house is really expensive at 300 dollars, that is the start of a high dollar reno in the city, marrying old to new cost money. Also as a life long resident of this city I would argue that we are way to wrapped in a bullshit historic preservation mode, if you don’t use a formal dinning room take the fucking wall out. PS, putting new code electric in stud walls is easy, you need and outlet every 6 ft that sucks on the party walls that have no cavity. I will accept the argument that homes might have been built better 90 years ago and will admit that the wood was better, but in a new 20 ft row house I don’t need a steel beam eating height in the basement or any load bearing walls and I assure you the floor I put in with a rotatory laser will be better than than the original floor. Until you have taken a few apart and put them back together don’t cling on the argument that it was done better back in the day, the reality is you have always gotten what you pay for and these were cheap houses, pretty but cheap, the trim is a dime a dozen and any mitre joint looks great with 80 years of paint on it.

    • propercharlie

      Maybe some of us like the idea of continuity, tradition and caring for what others did who came before. Mind you, not mindless preservation – but to simply get pleasure from the look of human time passing (dents, gouges, mistakes, etc) and carryiing on architectural ideas that meant something to our cultural ancestors yet still seem to satisfy similar emotional needs today.


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