Good Deal or Not? “COMPLETE GUT RENOVATION” edition

by Prince Of Petworth July 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm 35 Comments

This home is located at 715 Newton Pl, NW:

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The flier says:


You can find more info here and photos here.

$425,000 sound right for this 3 bed/2.5 bath reno?

  • Rosie

    I’m no expert on renovations or house prices, but this one looks pretty nice to me and I’d say it’s not a bad price either. It would definitely be an option I’d consider if I were ready to buy! I think it’s a great area too.

  • Chalk

    I think this is a good deal, but the two small bedrooms make me pause. What do you really do with them? They are too small for a decent sized bed, and who needs two offices?

    • dreas

      I was about to say that small bedrooms are pretty standard in rowhouses and that they’re fine for kids (our 7.5×10 room makes a great nursery/kid’s room), but having looked at the tour, two 8×8 bedrooms is ridiculous. Even I have a hard time defending that–how do you have a guest room without even a full bed?

      • Tres

        A full bed is kind of the minimum in my mind, too. But I do think they were very thoughtful in offering the deck off both small bedrooms, as well as a lot of light — those glass doors really help open up the room, keep it from feeling claustrophobic.

      • ess

        agreed–they could have made it a 2br with normal-sized rooms. I agree that smaller rooms are generally ok for kids, but I’d be nervous that a little kid could get out onto the deck through those doors! It might have been better to replace one of the doors with a window.

        • Tres

          Replace the doorknob with one that locks from the inside as well as outside.

          Somebody’s thinking about having kids. ;)

          • dreas

            And put a simple hook-and-eye at the top out of the kid’s reach. It’s funny that you think a door is more worrisome than a window; the windows in my son’s room go down to about mid-thigh height on me, so the top of his mattress is only an inch or so below the window sill. Scares the crap out of me. Especially because we don’t have the benefit of a balcony off his room to catch the fall!

  • DC

    Good deal. Love the area and decent price for a seemingly well-done rehab!

  • SF

    Sold for $172 in April, only 952 square feet, no basement, hideous bathrooms, opposite an abandoned building. Originally priced at $449K, I bet this goes for much closer to $400K.

    • Anon

      That abandoned building is gone – it is in the process of being turned into high end apartments.

      • Grand Funk

        First part of your statement is true but it will be mixed income

      • Anonymous

        senior housing for the projects

  • photodork
    • textdoc

      Thanks for the link!

      Not much to add to what others have said… I think having two very-very-small bedrooms was not a good layout choice.

      Otherwise, looks attractive.

  • anon

    Agree with Chalk. Two large bedrooms might have been a better idea. From that perspective, it does not seem that this is a good deal.

    • Kev29

      I don’t know – splitting into a 3 br gives you the listing advantage and the option for a child’s room + a guest/den. Sure both are small, but they’re not ridiculous.

    • victoria

      It would be much easier and cheaper for buyers to put up a wall to divide a large bedroom if that was what they wanted, than to knock down this wall.

  • Kev29

    Small sq footage but still a good deal for a super convenient location. That block of Newton looks to have a pretty clean crime report too. Congrats to the flippers who purchased it for $172k. I’m actually a little surprised they didn’t get 450.

  • photodork

    As far as the house goes, it is a good condo alternative if you can get it for $400K or under. The two 8×8 bedrooms are going to be tough to use for anything other than a nursery or small office though.

    I think it is priced right considering the lack of yard, fenced parking (which would be a pain for a daily commuter), no basement, and two tiny BRs. Looks like a decent quality flip.

  • oldhouselover

    yeah I’ve seen this one in person. The bedrooms really are small, even the master, but to me the biggest issue is that there’s nowhere to fit a decent-sized dining room table.

    Otherwise, it’s a good reno.

    I agree it’s a good condo-alternative, but not much of a house.

  • Scoot

    Wow, the price is way, way too high. There are several good comps in the area in the 800-1100 square foot range, either fully renovated or new construction. This unit should be priced at something closer to $325,000 or about $340/sq ft.

    The two small bedrooms are going to prevent this place from reaching its true potential, in my opinion. 8×8 is enough to put a fullsize bed in the room and not much else. They could be turned into an office and a nursery if need be. Seems like it would have been a better idea to keep this a 2 bed, 2 bath unit. More bedrooms does not always equal more desirable.

    • Chalk

      Even though you can fit a full sized bed, there is not wall to put it on that won’t block access to the closet, balcony, or hallway. These two rooms just don’t work as the average bedroom.

      Also – $325? I would start to wonder what corners were cut to get a place like this, in this location, down so low. Or I’d guess a bidding war was being staged.

      • Scoot

        $325,000 would be a reasonable, competitive price for a newly renovated unit in this area. Have you looked at the comps in the neighborhood? This unit is about $100/square foot overpriced, or more. It is nicely renovated, but the finishes are by no means high-end.

        Even if the seller could find someone to buy this unit at its current list price, it won’t appraise at this amount…

        • Nate

          $325k? Me thinks you’re out of of your mind, Scoot. But in any case, please share these comps if they exist.

          • Scoot

            The comps are widely available online … check MRIS, Redfin, Zillow, etc.

  • Anonymous

    I wish I was still in the market. For the price of a small condo a mile south of here you get an entire rowhome with 2 parking spots. Sigh…

  • dcd

    At $425,000, that’s more than $446/square foot. That’s pretty high. Not a good deal.

  • MichelleRD

    Price is right for the quality renovation and location (though that block is still a work in progress), but I feel like there should be a standard for what’s called a bedroom. Obviously a 3-bdroom gets a higher listing price than two, but these little rooms are just about useless as bedrooms.

    Locking the deck doors from inside and out has got to be a firecode violation. I sure wouldn’t keep my kid in such a room.

    • Scoot

      Most jurisdictions have definitions for what constitutes a bedroom in real estate transactions … sometimes, the bedroom must have a window large enough to climb out of. Other times, it must have a closeable door (or doorway where a door could be installed) and/or a closet. Some jurisdictions require a certain number of electrical outlets as well. Unfortunately there are probably few jurisdictions that require a minimum square footage.

      • Kyle

        I believe I saw 70 square feet for a BR, which 8×8 is not. However, I think that was for rentals. This is a purchase, so that may not apply?

  • Anonymous

    Agree the two bedrooms are too small to be of much use. Creating the 2nd full bath probably adds to the value somewhat, but this layout seems pretty limiting.

    Then again, if it’s a starter home for someone coming from a 1BR, it might work for them. Doesn’t appeal to me personally, but it’s new and shiny and close to metro, so I would guess it could go for $400.

    Is Equity Resource particularly known for the quality of their renos? (I assume that’s why it’s touted in the first line of the ad?) Are there some companies known for doing it “right” rather than quickie slapdash work?

  • ParkRd

    My husband and I saw this house the other weekend. The renovations were done well, and adding that second bath upstairs (as well as a half bath downstairs) was a good move. I agree, those two small bedrooms are SMALL. You could definitely not fit more than a single bed in there without blocking the doors to the balcony. I almost think they should have made the master bedroom in the back with the balcony and then put two small bedrooms up front without the doors (to give you more options for bed size). They actually pushed out the back wall to make room for the dining room and extra bathroom upstairs. If you look at other houses on this block, you’ll notice how small they actually are. So, with the additional space, I think they did a good job.

    To Scoot who said this should be priced at $325… no way. $400 maybe, but under $350 for a new renovation that was done well is way too low.

  • ToCareNotTo

    I am a fan of the downstairs, I am not a fan of the 2nd floor at all. As with the others, I agree the 2 8×8’s should have remained 1 room, and the 2nd bathroom is not needed. Could have had a nice big bathroom with a soaker tub and standing shower, then add a storage closet, as there is very little storage space.

    But a 2 bed 1.5 bath lists lower than a 3 bed 2.5 bath.

    But no, I do not consider this a good deal.


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