Good Deal or Not? “Classic Woodley Place “Wardman” edition

by Prince Of Petworth December 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm 29 Comments

2650 Woodley Place Northwest

This house is located at 2650 Woodley Place, Northwest:


The listing says:

“Classic Woodley Place “Wardman” w original architectural details, high ceilings, hardwood flooring, LR w fpl, formal DR, galley Kit, Fam Rm,HB, upper level w 2 (once 3) BRs, 1.5 BA and Sun Rm, finished lower level w Home Office/ Rec Rm, au pair suite, large upper level deck, gated 2-car pkg, 1 blk Metro, Oyster E.S. Conveys ” as is”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 3 bed/2 full/2 half bath is going for $870,000.

  • I looked at this one yesterday. With all that square footage and proximity to Metro I thought it was a pretty solid deal. It’s in decent livable condition, but could definitely use some upgrades to modernize it.

  • textdoc

    Looks like a pretty good deal to me, especially for west of the Park.

  • dcreal

    870k for that? no thanks!

    • Anonymous

      +1. Needs major renovation to be worth close to a mil. The kitchen is terrible.

      • KenyonDweller

        Agreed about the kitchen, but the price reflects the Woodley neighborhood and the house’s location within Oyster’s boundaries, which is probably the most sought after DCPS grade school. They will likely get this price.

  • KenyonDweller

    It doesn’t look like a Wardman to me. Many Wardman houses were wider than average with front and back porches. Maybe this one just doesn’t fit his typical pattern, but why does the listing put Wardman in quotations?

    • Kent

      Kennedy Brothers built a lot of houses on Woodley Place. This could be one of theirs. It also looks like it is missing its front porch.

      • Anonymous

        I’m pretty sure that row of houses were built by Wardman even though they are a-typical. I remember reading somewhere that his first houses in DC were built along Park Road NW between GA Ave and Warder but those don’t fit the typical Wardman style either.

        • Anonymous

          Oops! I was thinking of a different block! I should have looked at the map first. No idea if these are Wardmans

  • Johnny

    On a street that routinely sees renovated houses sell at 1.25 mil i’d say this is a steal. The bones appear solid with rental basement to boot. it wouldnt take more than 100k to update this nicely. But if you wanted to put 200k into it you would still get every penny back. Can’t over improve in a neighborhood like that and its rare to even have the chance to buy a bargain. The last two homes in need of updating on that street were sold as pocket listings to a well known flipper. You wont get the chance to buy them until they are listed for 1,290,000 . (No I am not the agent.)

    • annonny

      Agree entirely with your analysis. This is a steal for the neighborhood. Sorry folks, but this is what it now costs to have a “middle-class”/non-luxury house in a close-in DC neighborhood.

  • lmfb

    No deal. There should be rules to people selling houses. 1) You cannot list your house near the same price as a renovated house if your kitchen looks like the 80s in miniature; 2) you do not get to list your house for over 700K if you are using window units instead of central air.

    • JS

      You obviously have no idea how real estate works.

    • Anonymous

      Location trumps (nearly) all, but nice try there champ.

      • lmfb

        Relax guys. I’m not saying you are wrong, just that I don’t understand paying nearly a million dollars for this place when it’s a bit dumpy. I used to rent a place near this house, and I moved because the neighborhood is a bit lame (sorry), by which I mean the restaurants are mediocre, the nearest nightlife is AdMo (yikes), there’s no grocery, and the neighborhood is a bit homogeneous. I understand that back in the day, anything east of Dupont was perceived as scary, but this isn’t your mother’s DC anymore, and (even if the comps say you are right) I just don’t understand spending that much money to live in this house in this neighborhood (rather than Logan, Shaw, Bloomingdale, etc etc etc).

        • Anonymous

          Obviously not every POP poster has elementary school-aged children, and those that don’t may prefer more trendy and edgy neighborhoods in NE. But for a family with kids, this is a great deal. One block from the metro, safe neighborhood with minimal sketchy street life, Oyster school district, west of the Park… they will have no problem getting this price – probably multiple offers. (no, I am not the agent.) I’d add that $870 is not “close to 1 million” as some posters suggest. If your budget is $990 then you can do better than this house. But for the price it’s a solid deal.

  • textdoc

    Given the location and the price, I was expecting the house to be in really poor shape. Certainly the aesthetics (most notably the kitchen) and some of the functionality (window units) could be improved, but as Justinbc notes, it’s in livable condition the way it is. If I had a spouse and had kids (or wanted to have kids), I’d think this house was a great way to get a foothold in a good school district and in an otherwise completely out-of-price-range neighborhood.

  • Secret Agent

    A renovated house on the same block sold for 1.2 million in one day. Another one for 1.175 after multiple offers on the original 1.075 list price. This is an amazing deal for the location and condition. There will be multiple offers and it will go for well over list price.

    (not the listing agent- but yes, I am an agent and have renovated homes before.

  • carlosthedwarf

    Unless there are hidden structural issues, this is a great deal. Installing central AC and renovating that kitchen are musts, but everything else is just cosmetic. [I’d start by ripping the mirror off the living room wall, but that’s just me.]

  • Jay

    Are people joking? This is a craaaaazy good deal for a young family. This is a townhouse with a rental unit that’s like 72 feet from the Red Line and only 5 minutes from Oyster. If you renovate the basement it will pay half the mortgage. Unless you base your real estate decisions entirely off kitchen finishes then this is an obviously great deal.

    • dcreal

      I don’t think that is a legal basement apartment. I’m not sure if that window there counts as a second means of egress. Plus it would suck to have to enter the basement from the alley only. But as you mentioned if renovated and made to code etc, it does help with the mortgage.

    • Anonymous

      Except a young family stands absolutely no chance of getting this house. A developer with cash will swoop in and pay top dollar, renovate it, then flip it for $1.5million.

      • Anonymous

        This is what makes me sad, especially since the developer will almost certainly strip this house of any and all charm and character.

  • Woodley

    Well, considering the house 2 doors down (2646) sold 2 months ago for $500 sf, was in slightly better shape but 26% (500 sf ) smaller, I call this the deal of the month. I expect it won’t make it to its first open house this weekend, and will be off the market before then. And a rental unit to boot!

    A new kitchen and central air, with some other topical improvements will cost ~$25-$30 sf (50K-75K), and then the place is worth the $500 sf (minimum) the other places on the same street have been selling for.

    This is a no brainer. Spend ~$30 sf and 2 months later your house is worth $100sf more than you paid for it.

    I know the whole “different strokes for different folks” mentality but I am constantly amazed at how folks here think the houses listed here for $450-600 sf in super shooty places like Shaw etc are “totally worth it”, but a house a block from the metro in probably the second most tony neighbohood with “THE” best schools in the District aren’t.

    • Anonymous

      Reading the GDON comments here is like watching “House Hunters” on HGTV. People on that show choose a house with a bad layout in an inconvenient location because they like the light fixture in the dining room. A lot of the Popville commenter (not all, but many) seem to make their decision about whether a house is a good deal or not based on whether the kitchen has granite countertops.

      • anon

        Yeah, this surprises me too.
        On the one hand, kitchen renovations ARE expensive, so I can understand why someone might want to have the kitchen already renovated to their liking. On the other hand, you CAN change your kitchen, etc., whereas other considerations (like location, proximity to Metro, etc.) are fixed.

        • Anonymous

          Exactly. Kitchen renos are expensive and it’s a hassle to live without the kitchen while it’s happening. But in the end you pay a lot less and get what you want if YOU do the update rather than letting a flipper or previous owner do it. For me a slightly dated but totally functional kitchen like this is actually plus, b/c I know I did not pay an inflated price to end up with a kitchen I don’t even like but can’t justify updating because it’s all new stuff. You could function really well in this kitchen as it is for years until you can afford to renovate. Paint the cabinets for a quick and cheap update if you want to freshen it up in the meantime.

          • annonny

            Exactly. Why is the notion of growing into a place so lost in the current real estate market?

  • former neighbor

    Not saying its a deal breaker, but the back of this house abuts an alley full of restaurant deliveries, trash removal, etc. It’s still a pretty good deal, but not exactly the dream house for many in the market for a potential family home like this.


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