Good Deal or Not? “famous 110 year-old historic home” edition

by Prince Of Petworth October 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm 26 Comments

This house is located at 1001 Irving Street, NE:

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The listing says:

“Wonderful custom home from Ditto Residential. Exceptional addition and renovation of famous 110 year-old historic home. Architect Chuong Cao and Giang Dinh transformed this fanciful house into a modern and elegant landmark of DC. Unique because of its beautiful form, custom designed/built stairs, natural light and fine finishes. 4 BD, 3.5 BA, landscaped yard, Garage”

You can see more photos here.

This is the famous round house that we saw getting renovated back in August. Do you like the way it turned out?

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $899,900.

  • anon

    If you look at the raw stats on the house (4BR/3.5BA in Brookland close to RI Ave), this is a totally ridiculous price. But, as with that alley dwelling in Logan, this place we draw in that subset of people who value aesthetics above a lot of other factors that typically go into home buying. I don’t think they’ll have much of a problem getting that price from the right buyer who is looking for a property that really stands out. I do love what they did to rescue this house.

    • Agreed. Places like these tend to become divorced from the neighborhood market fundamentals simply because it is such a unique property and attracts a particular class of buyers. Personally, I love the renovations and aesthetics; this would be an amazing house for entertaining and hosting guests.

      GDoN? It’s hard to say. It appears to be a nice, big lot and at first glance the renovations appear to be very high end. This isn’t your typically flip. I’d want to know more about the original purchase price and the cost of renovations. I’m thinking this goes for at least $750K. Who knows if they’ll get $900K?

      • B-land res

        Ditto bought the house for $275k in August of last year. Keep in mind this house was very small without the addition. I’ve heard that due to the fact that it had a number structural issues that would have been expensive to repair on a normal house, the renovations and the addition for this house were astronomical because everything was round and consequently very labor intensive. I assume the architect’s fees added to the cost as well.

        • Anonymous

          what it sold for before is irrelevant.

          • B-land

            Calm down. I was responding to Zero_Sum’s question about the previous purchase price and the cost of renovations. If you haven’t noticed, the comments for GDONs tend to expand beyond the question of whether the house is actually a good deal.

  • Britt

    Not sure about the cost but it’s definitely a beautiful and interesting home. I love a house with curves 😀

    • List price seems hight to me for the neighborhood, but the reno looks outstanding, at least from the photos. Reminds me of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. I wouldn’t have chosen the straight-line staircase if I had been designing it, but it does make for something dramatic. I’d predict it goes to some high-income DINK’s who, like others have said, will pay a high premium for the aesthetics of the space.

  • Nathaniel

    While it is cool and the developer probably needs close to the price as they put a lot of money into it, it is still a 900,000 house in brookland. Further some of the rooms are small and odd shaped and no basement frm my undstabdng. Yes people will pay more for unique properties but it helps when those properties are in desirable areas. I don’t think brookland is 900,000 desirable. I’d say 750 tops.

    As I have a place two blocks from there I hope it goes for the price though.

  • Awful, awful, sadly awful -dull quotidian design. Such a unique space to start with – and such boring unimaginative results. But elsewhere in the world people are doing exciting & creative things so our species is probably not doomed.

    • anon

      I thought that as well, until I heard that the inside originally was very plain (and tiny/awkward)–no nice historical details. I suppose they could have done more with it, but I’m not sure at what additional cost…

      • You start with a unique house – then slice it the f**k up with a stupid straight staircase slicing through the middle of the room. And ceiling pot-lights are always – ALWAYS – bad and lazy – and ugly. White shiny surfaces (the kitchen) do not make for modern design. Dull reno of ordinary houses is sadly ordinary and expected. Dull reno of the Round House is criminal. I call for public flogging.

        • Anonymous

          i like ceiling pot lights. i think they look nice in this space.
          a lighting fixture need not always be a spectacle.

          • No – but it needs not to be ugly stabbing spotlights from the ceiling that make everyone squint and look bad, flattering nothing and no one and encouraging no new design or the smallest bit of creative thought.

            Except for a cheap basement rental apartment – Pot lights have NO PLACE anywhere in any home anywhere ever.

          • Anonymous

            your absolute rule is too draconian for me.

        • anon

          I see your point, and mostly agree (and recessed lights are a huge pet peeve). I guess the problem with renovating an already unique house on speculation is that they can’t get too artistic/creative, or they won’t be able to sell it (or at least sell it without taking a loss). DC doesn’t seem to be a place where people who have both an appreciation for striking architecture/interior design and tons of $ tend to live.

  • I went to the open house they had at this house a few weeks ago. It’s an incredible place. I actually think they’ll get close to this pricce this for the property. The renovations are VERY high end, and the worked looked seamless. 2 of the rooms are a little weird in shape, but the master and one other are very useable. Nice bathrooms. What you can’t tell from the photos is that it’s on a very large, somewhat manicured corner lot with lots of “proper”garden potential.

    • Do you know who did the renovations?

    • I concur, the place is stunning. I think they will get close to the asking price.

  • purplepalace

    Considering how much poor photography is seen in real estate listings, I feel compelled to compliment the beautiful, well lit, properly exposed, in-focus photos for this listing. Cool house, too.

    • Seveneye

      I was going to comment that the view out every window is stunning. I assume its real, but it had me wondering.

  • Maire

    It’s nice. But can’t anyone buy a house from a regular person anymore? Everything is getting flipped. Are the prices we’re seeing for flips sustainable? How are people going to recoup their costs, especially when you consider that many flips used cheap materials and are sometimes partially finished.

    It’s disheartening to see.

    • anonz

      I’m not sure a regular person would have bought this place (I live a block away and walk by every day–it was in terrible condition, and it was hard to see how it would be functional by modern standards), but I totally agree with you about a vast majority of places in DC. It’s next to impossible to get a fixer if you don’t have an all-cash offer to compete with the flippers. You end up having to choose between getting a fixer that the flippers aren’t interested in (due to bad location, too many structural issues, or higher requested price), paying a ton for a flipped place, or not getting a house at all). Ugh.

      • Or buy at a time when the flippers are scared to buy. That’s what I did in 2009.

  • Maire

    I’m not remotely an expert but I feel a sort of bubble bursting soon. Maybe it’s just those that are featured on PoP, but how many people can buy in the 600-700k range when the flipper purchased for 200-300k and expect to hold onto that value or make their money back?

    I bought a small place that was a semi-flip (guy had a tenant, when the tenant moved out and he decided to sell he quasi-flipped it. But he didn’t really finish and I’ve had to re-do a lot of the work). Now, my price point is a lot lower and my home should continue to rise in value, but I feel like a lot of people who are buying hundreds of thousands of dollars above the initial purchase price when the renovations don’t remotely total the price inflation are going to be screwed in 5-10 years when they try to sell.

    I don’t know. When I move next, I just want a nice, normal place for a decent price that a regular homeowner is selling that might need some updating. Those are just rare anymore. Frustrating.

  • meh

    That front shot makes it look like an information center on the Mall.

  • Stunning renovation. If it sells for that much, that would be a high mark for Brookland. If there is a house in Brookland that could do it, I think this one could.


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