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Good Deal or Not? “6FP, gorgeous woodwork, CAC, carriage house” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth July 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm 40 Comments

This home is located at 3303 18th St, NW:

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The flier says:

“Rare opportunity for a grand detached Mt Pleasant home on a large corner lot. Wraparound porch w/ stone pillars, dramatic wide center hall, paneled DR, huge LR, striking contemporary table-space kit w/ dining porch, 6BR + study & playrm, 3.5BA, expansive master ste w/ private porch, balcony, 6FP, gorgeous woodwork, CAC, carriage house, full storage bsmt, pkng potential”

You can find more info here and photos here.

$1,075,000 sound right for this 6 bed/3.5 bath?

  • That’s a great price for such a huge house in Mount Pleasant. Must be something not evident in the listing that is seriously wrong with it.

  • joker

    I drive by that house a few times a month and have always admired it with its huge ass lawn and enormous porch and I would be completely surprised if it sold for less than a million.

    However, in looking through Redfin I see that it sold 18 months ago for 730K which is kinda shocking. I know, they renovated some bathrooms and put in a new kitchen, but that house could have been a shell and I would have thought 730K would have been a little low.

    Problem they might have is it is obviously a big family house and being designated historic means a developer cant come by and raze it for condos so it will be someone who makes a good living with a large-ish family. School is starting in a month and most demo’s in the market fo rthis house probably aren’t going to move so close to the start of the school year.

    • Oh, someone could raze it for condos if they really wanted to badly enough. Maybe not easily, but it could be done. They just can’t make massive changes to the exterior.

  • anonimouse

    I think the previous occupant (before the current one) was some sort of group assisted living facility. I bet these owners spent most of that $300K turning it back into a decent one family house. I hope they get the asking price or better.

  • WDC

    That’s been a group home for ages, hasn’t it? I’m surprised to see that it appears to be in really good condition. Not that group home residents are barbarians! I didn’t say that! Just that lots of turnover and non-owner residents often leads to some extra wear and tear.

    Seems like a good deal to me…

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s a good deal, regardless of any underlying issues that need to be resolved with it (and I bet there are many … they held the Mt. P community yard sale there many years ago, and it struck me as being a little worse for the wear then). This is a huge lot and a stately home with what appears to be significant amounts of original detail remaining. Someone with enough cash on hand will snap this up and pimp it out. Across the park, in the same condition, it would go for 750k more.

  • Anonymous

    I could be wrong, but I spoke with people who were cleaning it out prior to the last sale and they said that it was an older relative who was moving out. They had a few yard sales of older furniture, etc. After walking by it a few times this spring/summer, I figured that a single family had moved in- the vegetable garden seemed to be in pretty good shape.

    FWIW, I think it should go well above $1 million, if there aren’t any crazy structural issues. I was surprised by the $730k price tag on the prior sale and figured it may have stayed in the family (it was on the market for only a few days).

  • JB

    We went to the open house yesterday. The house showed beautifully. It had great original details, molding & most of the original floor was intact & refinished (patched here & there with new pieces & the stairtreds are all new.) It was also the only open house we went to yesterday that had central A/C & it was cold & lovely (the houses with window units were all hot). We left being so glad that such single family homes still exist in the neighborhood & wishing we had the money to buy it.

  • Anon

    I am surprised at the price, I would have expected much higher given that a rowhouse on Lamont went for $890k just this week.

    • grumpy

      My thought exactly – the townhouse I used to live in on Kilbourne sold for $1.1 million a few years ago (the market was hot, but still…) I would expect this one to go for over the asking price!

  • Anonymous

    We went to the open house, too. Everything JB says is true — the house has a lot of positives. On the other hand, it has some significant negatives, too. The windows have substantial problems (including one window that is completely missing). There seem to be some roof issues, too. Plus it doesn’t have parking, and while the agent says you could add parking, I’m not sure that’s correct, and it certainly wouldn’t be easy (to park in the carriage house, you’d need to get Pepco to move a telephone pole, plus do some work to fix up the carriage house, and putting parking anywhere else — even just a parking pad — would require historic district approval that might be hard to get). Most people buying a house that big really want off-street parking.

    That said, I bet this will sell quickly, though probably for less money than most commenters here seem to think.

  • caballero

    Good deal. The porch alone is probably worth $100,000.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite house in all of MTP. My wife and I walk by it often and drool. AND it’s priced at probably 50-60% of what I thought it would be. Three reactions:

    1) What’s wrong with it for it to be priced so low?

    2) Who cares about #1 — what sort of ethical boundaries would I be willing to cross to come up with the ~$300K?

    3) Silent weeping.

  • MP

    There was a conversation here on PoP about turning lawn space into parking space. The OP was owner of this house, as I recall.

  • Jane

    This house had a single family in it for at least the last year and I think parking is a significant problem at this price point.

    The last owner tried and failed to put in a pad – there was discussion here about it.

    But it’s lovely – although I’d prefer a little more privacy for the porch/yard. It just seems super public all the way around.

    • Anonymous

      The discussion about putting in a parking pad is at http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2010/09/dear-pop-permeable-paver-grass-driveway-installers/

      Given that he asked the question almost a year ago and there’s no parking there now, it certainly sounds like you’re right that he couldn’t get permission to put in parking.

      I wonder if that’s why they’re selling. If you have a big family with small kids, not having any off-street parking is a huge pain.

      • victoria

        Is it actually illegal to just park on your own “lawn?” If you can’t put in a parking pad or space, couldn’t you still just drive into your own yard?

        • Anon

          I think that’s legal. But it wouldn’t help you with this house. The yard is well above street level, with a stone retaining wall all the way around that’s at least two feet tall at its lowest point. To park in the yard, you’d need to cut a driveway through that wall, and I’m sure that’s what the historic district objected to.

  • MichelleRD

    Weirdly incongruous choice for the kitchen cabinetry, but otherwise I join those wondering why they’re not asking for another $500K

  • DCGirl53

    I went to the open house as well. The remodeling done by the owners is sloppy, cheap and not great. It was obvious they did some of the work themselves. I personally would have to redo what they did. The kitchen apppears to be Ikea which I’m not so crazy about in a home at this price. That said, it has a massive basement that could easily command a large amount of rent as either one unit or two. So in the long run a good investment maybe if you have the money to make all the improvements. The house is huge, the woodwork is amazing…but the whole house needs a lot of work.

    • DCGirl53

      Please note the basement is not finished, you would have to do all of the work in there.

  • MK

    Please God, let a family buy it and don’t let another beautiful old home be chopped up into condos.

  • Kev29

    Yeah, it’s a charming and huge old house. But I wonder who the person/family is that would be in the market for this specific type of property in Mount Pleasant. I love Mt Pleasant, but is it the first choice for a large family? Especially at over a million with more work and question marks on how move in ready it is (parking, carriage house, lots of property maintenance and utilities). A wealthy small family or couple would want something not as high maintenance in a more convenient neighborhood. A wealthy large family probably wants something more family ready and probably with better school access. That could be the rationale for pricing this place lower than many would imagine… just my guess.

    • Anonymous

      Families who want to live in the city, have enough money to send their kids to private school and do the renovations, and value space/lot size over zip code. Of which, in my experience, there are plenty. My guess is some income/low equity partner at a big law firm ends up buying this place. Some family with annual income in the 500k range, basically. (Keep in mind, this place is walking distance to the zoo and Rock Creek trails. It’s east of the park, but not by much.)

      • D

        Was trying myself to peg the annual income earned by a target buyer/household given the issues the place has and its price tag. You’ve pegged it at 500k and I think that’s gotta be in the ballpark. Any other guesses?

    • Anonymous

      i think you’ve underestimated how fast dc is changing. and the mindset of people moving here.

      a handful of years ago, my neighborhood had gun shots on a weekly basis. i couldn’t go a day without seeing some crime or another.
      now? people are retiring to my hood. the differences are staggering and the longer you’ve been here, the harder they are to keep pace with.

  • Local PW

    Let the chaffeur worry about parking. Love love love this house!

  • am2o

    The biggest problem with the house is a divorce.
    the commenter who estimated $300k on repairs was close.
    the commenter who noted the missing third floor window was also correct, but did not note the fully functioning storm behind that window.

    Parking is a slight issue. After we were there for a month, we figured out the parking flow. Not really a bog deal. If you want a driveway, put one in from the alley. There is a pop question on this for this house last year.

    I think the price is low, but that’s divorce for you…

    • Anon

      You’re the owner, and you think the price is too low. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

      • Anonymous

        it’s funny how ignorance and jadedness go hand in hand.

    • Tres

      I’m surprised this hasn’t been a feature on PoP before, something like, “We’re divorcing. Should we sell the house or are there other options?”

      Divorces happen all the time, and the price of homes in this area usually means couples qualifying based on two incomes — meaning, they can’t afford the home without a partner. It’s a pretty heavy topic, but I think it’s something every couple should at least talk about prior to purchase.

      I know at least 4 or 5 couples who bought during the days of easy credit, who broke up within 2 years of the purchase.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a beautiful house and I hope you get more than the asking price.

    • Anonymous

      Let me get this straight. Ten months after you moved in, you were looking to put in parking and posted on PoP that your neighborhood has “no parking when we come home from work late on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, or ‘event days’.” But now you’re saying that “After we were there for a month, we figured out the parking flow. Not really a big deal.” So, are you lying now, or were you lying in your post last year?

      • Anon

        Cut the poor guy some slack. Yes, of course he’s lying to try to push up the price of his house. He’s getting divorced, and he needs every dollar he can get. You’d do the same thing if you were in his shoes.

        At least he’s actually posting as himself. With most GDoN posts, the owner is posting, but he’s doing it anonymously. Who do you think is writing all of the “This house is gorgeous and should go for $500,000 above asking.” comments?

      • Anonymous

        Both can be true. Can your brain wrap itself around that concept?

  • am2o

    Addendum: parking was never attempted, nor were permits attempted. It was posted here, but parking was not that big of an issue to spend 6k on…

  • indc

    There are a lot of people who have no idea what they are talking about. Let the people move on with their lives…be happy….and see what it closes for in the end.

  • MTP Resident

    This house was not a group home. The same family lived in it for at least 50 years and were known by residents of MTP. That is why it is in such terrific shape – i.e., wood work, original layout, etc.

    The house was never really put on the market for the previous sale – just one day a sign with Under Contract was up. You have Linda & Rob Low to thank for that… other homes they had on the market they bid low and let people bid auction style, not sure why they didn’t with this one. They may be taking that tactic this time around.

    It’s a beautiful house – but with that size comes a lot of maintenance.

  • MTP Resident

    For the people that are calling people liars about parking. Please don’t move to MTP.

    Parking issues are all personal perspective. I live in a city and accept that I will have to look for a spot at certain times of the evening and really could care less. My husband, however, has not accepted that fact and will complain anytime he has to look 50 ft from our door. Some get used to it, and some don’t.

  • Annony

    This house went under contract within a week of being listed.


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