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Good Deal or Not? “Owner has spared no expense” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth September 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm 37 Comments

This house is located at 115 Rhode Island Ave NE,

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The listing says:

“Prime location walking distance to metro. Top of the line renovation. European finished throughout. Features include gourmet kitchen, hardwood floors, finished basement w/ full bath, large yard with deck and secured parking for two cars. Owner has spared no expense.”

You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/3 bath is going for $589,000.

  • Anonymous

    I really like this house except for the master bath. I’d like a dual vanity but if you can’t have two then a bigger one would be nice. That’s pretty nit-picky though.

  • Ward One Resident

    My only quibble would be with the blue stairs and what appear to be black-mirrored cabinets. Super busy street. Nice backyard though.

  • Anonymous

    $400k in 3 months is an ambitious flip.

  • Point1: Nothing they did to that house is worth the 400K premium they are now asking for it based on what the flipper bought it for 3 months ago.

    Point2: I (personally) would have a hard time having my house front a veritible highway. Rhode Island is L.O.U.D.

    But then again, I ain’t buying it, so have at it.

  • CoHi

    “Spared no expense” exept for the Ikea vanities and sinks. C’mon. You can’t ask for a $400k premium and put in that stuff. People know.

    • CoHi

      I meant “except”…sorry for the typo.

    • “Owner spared no blue paint” perhaps… I could use $580k and buy a solid house in NW DC, it would be a little bit smaller but just as sturdy, but the key is that it would appreciate in value at a much more rapid pace… This spot is indeed nice, but a little overpriced.

      • Here we agree 100%. Bad deal.

        • Haha, don’t carry disagreements into different posts, it’s a new rule! LOL.

  • eli

    They rehabbed this super fast, were terrible to the neighbors, and I hear the developer is not a very nice person. Buyer beware.

  • I attempted to buy this place in 2009, when it was listed for $250,000. Someone made an offer for $250,000 a day before I did, but the listing agent accepted my offer as a backup offer. I never heard another word and then read a few months later that the property sold for $220,000 . . . and it struck me as odd that I was never contacted by the seller, given my willingness to pay more. I’m now curious to know why it sold again earlier this year for $140,000. Weird. In the end, I much prefer the house I found and bought a few months later, in a better location (1st and P NW), for $295,000 . . . so no complaints.

    • looks like it sold, then went into foreclosure / shortsale and was sold to current developer for ~140K.

      • Yep . . . it was also a foreclosure in 2009, when I attempted to buy it. Double trouble!

    • TG

      I obviously don’t know the details but in my one short sale experience the seller basically approached us about committing a fraud on the bank and cutting a side deal to buy some personal property for 25k that was probably worth 500 bucks. They also tried to insist on using their settlement attorney, probably to hide the fraud. They were willing to accept a purchase price but only if we did the side deal. We declined.

  • greatscot

    Nice, but I’d be concerned about about a three month flip like this. Between the electrical work and the fact that they most likely had to knock out some walls to create that open concept, I’d be more worried about what’s behind the walls than how it looks. Maybe I’ve been watching too much HGTV though.

  • Anony

    From the comments, the developer:
    1. Was a bad neighbor
    2. Possibly had some back deal going on to get the house
    3. Flipped this in a very quick amount of time to be asking such a premium

    I wouldn’t feel so great making that walk from 3rd to the RI Metro, especially later.

    • TG

      This is what I suspected based on the circumstances described above but I don’t know the facts so I can’t malign the developer. I don’t doubt that side deal shadiness abounds though in the short sale context.

    • Non e Mus

      I think what you meant to say in that first sentence, with respect to points 1 and 2, was:

      “[Based on a series of anonymous] comments, the developer [allegedly – i.e., based on hearsay and speculation, without a shred of actual evidence]:”

      As to point 3, it’s called the free market. If it’s overpriced, no one will buy it. It really is that simple.

  • Where’s the AGA

    “European” taken together with “spared no expense” would mean Italian cabinets and something like Miehle appliances…at the least. We could even substitute a good old American-made Sub Zero fridge, let the Euro b.s. drop, to adhere to “spared no expense.” I think we can all recognize IKEA sinks. And don’t “top of the line” “spared no expense” “European finished throughout” pads include a bidet? You’ll need it to clean off this level of real estate b.s. writing.

  • EckItUp

    I read the comments before I looked at the pics and was expecting something pretty crappy. You people be high. The inside is very tastefully done and looks just like all the other interiors I’ve seen from Bloomingdale through Logan Circle to Dupont. I don’t know if this place is going to sell for nearly $600,000, but it’s going to sell quickly. Being right on RI would suck as bad as being on Connecticut, another super highway, but this place is set back a bit. Also, the walk to downtown Bloomingdale, which is coming along, it short. It’s also walkable to two metros, the same way that AdMo is walkable to one. If you work on the Hill, you’ll shoot down on the 80 bus. I have no stake in this place, and I don’t live in Eckington, but I think it’s gonna sell.

  • Nolo

    Why is everyone so indignant about the price that the developer is asking relative to what he/she bought it for? I’ve never understood this. If you want to do charitable real estate development, by all means go ahead.

    • Anon


    • JS

      It’s like Joker says in the above comment, people really don’t think that the developer added $400K in value to the house. People generally are opposed to paying top shelf prices for lower quality items (i.e. custom finish prices for low cost off the shelf components).

      • Boogie

        It seems to me that people should consider what the value when the developer bought it, rather than what the developer paid. In other words, if under normal circumstances the price paid would have been $300,000, which seems to me what this place would’ve been worth based on what some horrors in Bloomingdale have sold for, the developer really added only about $100,000. Yes, you can question what the going rate under normal circumstances would be, but I don’t think $140,000 or whatever the developer paid was normal.

        • JS

          Even assuming a normal (what is that?) value of 300K, you’re still looking at a 289K premium. Assuming your 100K into materials, are you willing to pay the flipper $189K to handle the renovation? Given the quality of the renovation, I suspect many posters do not consider the work done to be worth $189K.

          • Anon

            Yes. I don’t know anyone who has purchased a renovated property who made his or her decision based — not on the worth of the properity — but how much of a profit he or she thought the developer would make.

          • JS

            You’re right. No one’s ever thought, “Gee, I could buy this crappy flip for $580K or I could buy the run down place two doors down for $350K, fix it to my own tastes for $120K, and pocket the difference for myself.” Yup, no one’s ever made that calculation when buying real estate.

      • Anonymous

        Calculated in that is not only the cost of the materials but the time and labor of somebody else to do the fixing up for you which really is the greater portion of the cost of any project.

      • qst

        It’s irrelevant what the developer paid, how much s/he put into materials and labor, or how long s/he owned it. The only thing that matters is what someone is willing to pay for it now that it’s for sale.

  • alphatango

    I want to go to there.

  • Alexis

    I guess Ikea technically is European……..

  • Anonymous

    this is the ugliest entrance i’ve ever seen. ever.

  • Anonymous

    home depot showroom…. does anyone have ANY imagination?? i mean, come on… this is getting BORING

  • Anony

    I like the backyard space

  • down the street

    I am down the street so I know a little bit about this house. First, the front is grey, not blue, its just a bad photo. Second, RI Ave is not that loud if you have decent windows. Finally, regarding the timeframe, there has been a crew at the house every day for 3 months, working long hours. The house was a disaster and the entire place had to be gutted. Its not hard to do electricity, plumbing, and central air when you have no walls. They had permits up, and they had architects, engineers, and inspectors there regularly. The transformation in such a short time is amazing. I dont know if its worth 600k, but words like “ikea” and “home depot” dont do justice to the extent of this project .

  • Looks beautiful, but $589k seems a bit high for a rowhouse in Eckington.

  • hma

    Pretty decent looking remodel. Nothing exciting.

    WAY too overpriced for that location.


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