Good Deal or Not? “loaded with charm, Carriage House” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth January 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm 49 Comments

1 derby lane se

This carriage house is located at 1 Derby Lane, SE:


The listing says:

“Fully renovated and loaded with charm, this 2BDR/2.5BA Carriage House is the one that you waited for! Beautiful gourmet kitchen, large dining area, open layout, gleaming wood floors, fireplace, updated baths, tons of light from 3 exposures & 1 parking space. Prime location that’s a short stroll to Metro, Eastern Market, restaurants, shopping and all the Hill has to offer. Open Sun 1/26, 1-4.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 2 bed/2.5 bath is going for $674,900.

  • Got this one via email yesterday and immediately sent it in. Curious if others love it as much as I do. There aren’t many homes that come through that make me think “I wish I had that one instead”, but I would so turn back time and purchase this one, even though it’s more $/sqft than we paid.

    • MAR

      Love it as well! Wish I had that money…
      As an aside, Im not really sure a cuter address exists…1 Derby Lane

      • And a parking spot right in front!

    • JJ

      What a great place. I don’t see anything I would really change except installing a door for the master bathroom shower.

      • There are a few things I would probably change, but they’re more cosmetic preferences. As a starting point though, wow!

        • That Man A

          Same, like i would blow out one or both of those doorways and do double doors

    • Anonymous

      I find it to be eh. Now if this were on my property as an actual carriage house and not my actual residence, then yes, that would be “wow!”
      My main gripe is no yard and I’m not crazy about living in an alley. I’d be worried about security and having to walk home at night through the alley.

      • That Man A

        see and i get that a lot but id love it personally
        that small row of homes right off of H st behind the theatre are love
        id rather get the garage next to them though. more space & i could pull my motorcycle into my livingroom lol

      • There are some areas where that would definitely be a concern for me (well not me personally, but I would worry more about my girlfriend, mom, etc), but this particular section of DC is one of the safest by far, which would assuage a lot of worries. The no yard thing does kind of suck, that’s one of the main reasons we bought out place (a corner unit with a nice wraparound).

        • That Man A

          yea, i always get pushback form my girlfriend on that idea for the safety issue. which i personally have no problem with
          but if im in the mkt and the right one comesaround for the right proce (probably post grad school) i will indeed pull the trigger

          • Anonymous

            Wow, I guess they’ve lowered the grammar and spelling requirements considerably since I was in grad school.

          • That MAn A

            Clearly typos lol… but thanks for the input champ
            & if you are looking for perfect sentance structures you probably shouldnt be on a forum such as this one

            brooms are meant for sweeping, not sitting

          • Anonymous

            I would hate to see the assignments you turn in, then.

        • Anonymous

          Are you a black belt, in addition to all the other things you’re an expert on?

          • No but I have seen The Karate Kid (Ralph Macchio version only though).

          • Anonymous

            OK, I don’t know justinbc from Adam, but I have to say, I really don’t get the level of snark that I’ve seen aimed, personally at him, numerous times now. While I don’t scour nor commit to memory every single one of his comments, I could be wrong, but I don’t recall seeing anything from him that’s been truly offensive or out of line. Yes, he’s active on this blog and yes, he has lots of opinions about lots of things. That’s part of what PoP is for, and some people are more vocal than others. So what?

          • Anonymous

            He’s kind of like a caricature. Like the embodiment of everything we love and hate about the typical PoPville commenter.

          • Anonymous

            Also I think some of it is jealousy. We’re talking about a guy who eats out all the time, owns multiple properties, and has some sort of job that allows him to comment on blogs most of the day. That’s quite the enviable life he’s managed to carve out for himself.

          • alpinepaq

            I’m printing t-shirts: “Kind of a big deal on Popville”

          • anon

            Justinbc does come across as a bit cocky/overly sure of himself, and he has an opinion/last word on everything, but nonetheless, some of the remarks that people have made about him recently are out of line/Not Nice. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him say anything mean-spirited on this blog.

          • anonymous

            Anonymous 2:25, you’re assuming everyone believes everything that is said on this blog. It is quite possible justinbc is adding some favorable details to his bio as you would expect a narcissist to do. Regardless, though, I think people are tired of this guy having an authoritative opinion on everything. I’ve read some of his stuff, and he’s reaching when it comes to actually knowing a neighborhood or restaurant. Color me skeptical about him being a fountain of wisdom and knowledge when it comes to this area. The Prince, yes. The guy who knows restaurants, Monkey, yeah. They’re legit, and they don’t annoy me like this one. At least he uses a photo- that makes it easier to skip comments.

          • I don’t take any of the negative comments to heart. It’s the internet, there is no winning. If I kept an anonymous profile and just made constant remarks about things nobody would be the wiser, but simply putting a username and photo up apparently gives some folks something to hate. Whatever. I enjoy my life, I hope they get some enjoyment out of there’s. I love DC and am fascinated by its growth and enjoy sharing that with people. To me that’s a lot of what this blog is about.

          • *theirs

          • frickorfrack

            +1+1+10000 I knew I wasn’t the only one!

          • Anonymous

            I used to follow his reviews on Yelp. One of only 3 or 4 people I actually trusted. Just because you don’t “like” someone doesn’t make them any less knowledgeable.

          • Anonymous

            I get a lady boner for assertive men, but I’m also not an uptight wannabe feminist like most of the other DC women I meet. A lot of the scrawny fake hipsters here could learn a lesson or two from this guy.

  • That Man A

    That is a bit much
    with that said i LOVE carriage houses & the thought of living in an alley

    there are some serious ones off Fla ave around ledroit

  • Linds

    This makes me wonder what the ratio/comparison would be from Eastern Market to Bloomingdale. My house is nearly identical in square footage, etc, but has a big yard… I’d be shocked if it could sell for that same amount.

    • Anon

      I’d be shocked too. Eastern Market is more expensive location than Bloomingdale.

      • Linds

        Yep, that was my point. :)

        • Anonymous

          Huh? Have you looked at any comps in Bloomingdale recently? Not many houses selling for under 600.

          • Anonymous

            And not many houses selling for under 900 in Eastern Market.

          • Linds

            Yes, very true… I guess I was originally saying is that I wonder what is the real difference in prices between those two neighborhoods nowadays. There used to be a huge difference, but I wonder how much that has changed since Bloomingdale’s prices skyrocketed. Though I doubt I’d get over $600k for my place that is this same size and basically laid out the same, I wonder if it’s really that much less these days with Bloomingdale on the up-n-up. Was just stating my curiosity.

          • Anonymous

            It has certainly come A LOT closer to Eastern Market, but it’s clearly not there. I seem to recall some of the carriage house reno’s going for well over 700k over on Bloomingdale Court a year or two ago, so not far out of line with this property.

          • Anonymous

            So Capitol Hill is kind of a broad stroke neighborhood reference so it’s not a perfect comparison to the much, much more compact Bloomingdale, BUT price per square foot in all of CH is about $525 while in B’dale it’s $450. This area by Eastern Market, though, I would guess is higher than the overall average of $525.

  • Blithe

    I don’t like the master bathroom, but, except for that, I’m totally smitten.

  • Anonymous

    Love this house! I think it is probably a good deal.

    Whoever cleaned the refrigerator did not do a good job, so streaky

  • djdc

    I had friends who lived here in the mid-1990s. Great house. Good size.

  • Anonymous

    If this were a regular rowhouse I don’t think anyone would be that crazy about it. It’s quite small and has the dreaded open layout on the first floor. Even with careful staging the living room area looks awkward. That said, it’s a killer location and it’s hard to find a turnkey house in Capitol Hill for such a low price. So it should appeal to someone.

    • Anonymous

      True. But since, for me, this is only a fantasy house, I’m drooling over the charm factors — including that great address.

      • figby

        The floors are nice but it’s another generic, mid-90s redo, isn’t it? No character, really. Just small rooms, white walls…..I like that it’s a carriage house but…..boring?

  • jim_ed

    I suppose you can’t get a sense of it without actually being next to the house, but with it being 100% surrounded by impermeable surfaces, I’d be worried about flooding/water runoff and the foundation.

    • Linds

      The carriage houses in DC are usually on raised slabs (under the exterior brick)… not sure if this one is as well, but I’d think so. A realtor told me years ago that it’s because they used to have to keep livestock dry/safe, but that could have been a load of bs.

      • That Man A

        not sure about the slab part
        but from my understanding they were origionally for just that, keeping animals
        from what i hear mostly horses

  • Rich

    The rooms all look a bit narrow. Wouldn’t mind trees nearby. Being surrounded by parking lot (even if it is brick) will be miserable in summer.

  • ET

    I live 2 blocks away and I think this may be a little overpriced based on what has sold. I would say it may sell closer to the $600,000 mark but like over that not under. The alley would be a drawback but otherwise this location is in a bit of a sweet spot. It is situated between 2 Metro stations and within walking distance of 2 groceries and Eastern Market.

  • Ryan

    Is this link not working for anyone else?

  • wpk_dc

    I love this place — super cute! — and think the price is fair. But you’d never get me to move to Capital Hill from Logan/U Street area.

  • Anonymous

    The lack of a backyard could be mitigated if they installed a sweet roof deck. This has a nice large flat roof surface, though I’m not sure how much structural reinforcement would be needed in an old building like this. The costs could add up very quickly. Is this covered by a historic district? Or is renovation by-right?


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