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Good Deal or Not? “Two chef’s kitchens” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth April 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm 38 Comments

This house is located at 1123 S St, NW:

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The listing says:

“Stunning renovation in the heart of U Street. 4 Bedrooms, 3 Full Baths, 2 Half Baths. No expense has been spared! Two chef’s kitchens with stainless, granite, and custom cabinets. Luxurious baths with designer hardware & fixtures. Corner unit with great light from southern & western exposures. In-law suite with separate entrance. Easy walk to U Street and Shaw Metros.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 4 bed/4 bath is going for $1,299,000. The 2 bed/2.5 bath unit on the side has already gone under contract for $699,000.

Thanks to all who sent in links and noted this was a former’s horses award nominee.

  • Anonymous

    If the whole house is going for $1.3M, why are there four electric meters?

  • Anonymous

    No parking!!! Ridiculous at that price.

    • Anonymous

      According to the property records, this address does have a garage, but interesting that it’s not mentioned in this listing. Are they selling it separately?

      • Anonymous

        The garage is now the $699K carriage house that went under contract. Definitely no parking. I checked with the agent at the open house. The place is gorgeous, but I’d definitely want a private spot for my car at that price point. Also, the front (pictured) faces a dated, gloomy looking school. Like any property, it has its impressive points along with some that are not.

        • classic_six

          That’s exactly what I was thinking…they turned the garage into that side unit they sold separately.

          • Anonymous

            Google Maps is your partner in finding out whats not in a MRIS picture. it’s saved me a lot of wasted trips for property viewings.

          • classic_six

            That’s pretty amusing re: google maps. How up-to-date would they be? Anyway, I didn’t use any such technique. When I read the comment with property records, I don’t think they are updated immediately, until a final sale has actually gone through, I think. It was an easy and predictable guess as to what the developers had done.

    • JenDC

      Perfect opportunity to sell you car. Bus, metro, zipcar – all sorts of options abound. Free yourself.

      • Anonymous

        Not an option for everybody, for various reasons. But I guess this place is best suited for someone without a car.

      • Zach

        Although I am a big fan of public transportation (I walk and ride the 42 almost as much as I drive), some of us need to have a car in DC. I am a professional musician, and I play gigs at least 4 times a week that require me to bring an amp, and sometimes a bunch of other equipment. Not having a car would make that impossible (especially when I have gigs or rehearsals in the burbs). In fact, I know I will not hire musicians sometimes who don’t have a car if I know getting them to a gig or rehearsal will require me to pick them up.

        I also didn’t have a car for two years in the city, and it was a nightmare for me. I sometimes took cabs to get me and my amp to gigs, but that got very expensive.

        I think it’s wonderful that many people chose to be carless in DC, but it’s just not a practical option for all of us….

        • Britt

          I know it stinks to haul stuff- I horseback ride competitively and I have saddles, boots, etc. and I use a zipcar. Wouldn’t that work?
          If you don’t use a car everyday to commute, you end up saving on depreciation, insurance, etc. if you ditch the car and use a carsharing service for those times you need it for a couple hours.

          • zrc

            Hmmm…i used zip car for a while, but it’s not cheap (especially when you need it 4 or 5 nights a week for 3 or 4 hours at a time), and I actually really LIKE having a car. I’m able to take trips to the dreaded suburbs without it being a hassle, which comes in handy when I need something from a music store (back to our thread about there being no good music stores in the district…). My car is paid off, so I think it would cost me more if I purposely avoided using it at this point.

            That said, I love when my gigs are on U street, provide backline

          • zrc

            Hmmm…i used zip car for a while, but it’s not cheap (especially when you need it 4 or 5 nights a week for 3 or 4 hours at a time), and I actually really LIKE having a car. I’m able to take trips to the dreaded suburbs without it being a hassle, which comes in handy when I need something from a music store (back to our thread about there being no good music stores in the district…). My car is paid off, so I think it would cost me more if I purposely avoided using it at this point.

            That said, I love when my gigs are on U street, provide backline, and allow me to walk from my apartment in Adams Morgan with just my guitar on my back! Paradise…

        • My car-related expenses come to around $120 a month (gas, insurance, maintenance, registration, inspection, AAA, the occasional toll). My partner uses the car once a week to visit her mother in the suburbs, and I use it once every month or two to visit my family 3 hours away. Other than that we hardly use it at all. I think the car is worth keeping now, but once it gets older and too expensive to maintain I’d consider going carless. For those who do, what do your monthly/yearly transit costs end up being?

          • Britt

            The biggest car-related expense is depreciation- and the supposed car ownership costs/year (from AAA) is around $9K/year (http://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/your-driving-costs/).
            As for me, we pay more to live in a place in the city where we can bike everywhere. Our other transport costs (metro, taxis, and zipcars) for around the city/suburbs are around $50-75/month for the two of us. The bike cost is $75 per year for a tune-up.

  • Anonymous

    Bubble meet U Street.

  • dcgent

    For once I’ll say price is fair, despite no parking, because the interior is over the top high-end and stylish. Belongs in a design magazine. Won’t appeal to everyone, but to those it does, they’ll bite. Incredible room.

  • Anonymous

    Why are there two kitchens? Is one for the in-law suite? It was not clear from the virtual tour.

  • Anonymous

    Like everything except for the kitchen cabinets… Seems like the location is the biggest selling factor. Not the biggest fan of the floor color, but hey, I don’t have to buy it!

  • classic_six

    I remember when this was posted (just from the outside) and it looked like a beautiful job from its former self and came a long way. It’s fun to see the inside and it matches the beauty from the outside, for the most part. It’s pretty contemporary, which is fine by me – and so I really like so much of what was tranformed. It’s not perfect, of course. While only a pedantic cosmetic complaint, those big square tiles and the large subway tiles are just not doing anything for me in the bathrooms, especially neighboring the super small tiling beneath; it’s distracting to me and just doesn’t seem like a good complement.

    Moving on, though – I am perplexed by how this house is being sold. If it’s obvious to you, please enlighten me: They lobbed off the side unit (2bed/2.5bath) for near 700m, which if I recall from the previous thread on this building, I remember seeing 2 “For sale” signs. Here, they are now asking for almost 1.3M for the rest of the house? There are 4 electrical units, so is this actually to become a group house? The inside doesn’t look as if it would actually be 2 or 3 or 4 completely separate units?

    • jcm

      The carriage house was sold as an entirely separate fee simple property, but maybe one of the meters belongs to it. Probably the “mother-in-law suite” (aka illegal rental) is separately metered. Dunno what the 4th one is, though.

    • Jake

      re: the 4 electric meters. this is pure speculation on my part, but 4 meters makes sense if you allocate 1 meter for the main unit, 1 for the inlaw suite, 1 for the side 2 bedroom sold separately, and the last for common areas.

    • classic_six

      Thanks, jcm and Jake. One of the few things I understood about the selling of this property is that the side unit was sold separately, as its own fee-simple sale. I guess it makes sense given that in order to sell the whole complex, they’d probably be listing it at 2M or more – and it probably is easier to sell it by dividing the sales into 2 separate units. By doing it this way, it would probably be more accessible for some people than buying property at 2M. I guess I also figured out 3 of the 4 electric meters but given how I wrote my comment, it makes sense that it didn’t seem that way. Heh

      I am still puzzled by the 4th electric meter. I read your speculative comment, Jake, but I’ve never encountered where they have a separate electrical meter for common areas. Is this standard practice here?

      • Anonymous

        Could be that the 4th meter is not meant to be used, but the modular unit comes with 2 or 4 meter bases, not three…or Meterman Supplies in Landover was out of the 3-meter unit.

        • classic_six

          It could be…your guess is far better than mine at this point.

      • Jake

        dunno whether its standard practice. I have seen plenty of 2 units that have 3 meters outside, and I’m assuming that the third is for common areas, but don’t really know for sure what the purpose is (if any).

        • But what “common space” is there when there are two free-standing (house and carriage house) sold as fee simple? I own a row house that is attached to my neighbor but we don’t have a “common space” meter. If there is a “common space” meter, then do they each also have to pay condo fees or otherwise agree to pay the bill?

  • anonymous

    i love how open it is with lots of windows but in the location, you might actually want some privacy.

    it’s beautiful and i envy the people who will get to live there. someday?

  • JenDC

    I ADORE that carriage house. Sigh.

    • Phantom Squire

      If it makes you feel any better, most of the space in that unit is underground. Obviously, it sold, so somebody really likes it. But for me, I wouldn’t want to pay $700k to live mostly underground without any outdoor space. But that’s just me. I mean, it does have hardwood floors and granite countertops. So … yay.

  • Anon202

    I want to like the carriage house unit, but I don’t think I would enjoy the lower-level living area… it seems too much like a basement apartment – a very high-end, very expensive basement apartment. (And in general I think the finishes throughout the whole complex are a little too much — enough with the zebra wood and matching marble.)

  • Annonny

    Love it. If the renovation included updating the plumbing, heating, electrical, etc., then this is a good deal.

    One caveat: the “in-law suite” looks to only have one entrance. That would make it illegal to rent out, although many people do so.

    • midcityguy

      Actually DC code does not req 2 exits for a bsmt unit

  • For $1.3M I expect parking and window covering of some kind (there are a lot of windows!). Not loving the granite (or whatever kind it is) that goes down the side of the counters in the bathrooms or the choice of cabinetry in the kitchen. Great location though….

  • lola

    That carriage house is gorgeous but I couldn’t spend 699k to live below ground.

  • Anon3

    Looks really well done. Price point seemes a little higher than I would expect. I echo people’s sentiments re: the high price without a parking spot. Personally, that mid-century looking cabinetry is awful.

    Clearly, it’s beautiful to someone though and whoever gets either unit will love life with that jacuzzi tub.

  • Ugly

    Buyer beware — why do you think the amenities list “sump pump” ? The previous owner got into tax sale because when he was digging out the basements he hit a stream of water and could not afford to fix it. Sure hope it got fixed or those walnut floors are going to be a big MESS!

  • Anon

    The link says Sale Pending. Price seems a little high to me, and I would assume they got their asking price since it went so quickly. But no parking, no private outdoor space that I can see. Would have liked to have seen this one.


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