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Good Deal or Not? “stunning renovation” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth January 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm 53 Comments


This house is located at 630 Quebec Pl, NW:


The listing says:

“Another gorgeous WSD Renovation! This stunning renovation features an open floor plan, exposed brick, chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances, master suite with private loft, in-law suite with two entrances, and parking. Gleaming red oak floors and skylights throughout”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $849,900.

  • JS

    This house had 38 offers when it was up for sale in April. It’s now listed for 500K more than that April listing and 400K more than it closed for.

    • That Man A

      My first question was are people willing to pay that much in that neighborhood
      has it really reached that point over there already??

      • Anonymous

        Apparently it has. Several recent comps seem to indicate so.

  • TG

    Looks nice. Seems overpriced to me by a lot but I would hope to be proven wrong. I am thinking 699k.

  • Anonymous

    three blocks from a metro station? this place is going to sell fast. those renovations are worth a couple hundred grand.

  • Anonymous

    It appears to have a rental unit, which assuming it was not there previously, will easily add 150/200k the the appraised value especially if it has a CofO. In that case, perhaps not $849, but I’m thinking 750/799 is not far off in this market.

    • styglan1dc

      Listing says “in-law suite”. If this was a legal rental unit with COO you better believe that they would have said that.

      • Jay

        I think I’ve read on here that the staircase between the basement and main floor means it can’t have a COO? If you could keep the basement rented it seems like it’d be a pretty good deal in terms of your monthly out-of-pocket expense…

  • dcreal

    Nice renovations. This leads me to ask a questioin: What are you guys take on exposed brick? and is it there such a thing as to much exposed brick? If you were doing a gut reno, would you expose some brick or have all drywalled?

    • Anonymous

      Kitchens usually need drywall for logistics, though it can be done without. So if you’re going open floorplan, drywall the kitchen to make your life easier, and then leave the brick exposed everywhere else, and it won’t be too much brick at all.

    • Wobble

      Yes – there can be too much exposed brick, but this seems ok.

      Don’t like these gutted first floors with no walls, either. Too Califonicated.

      I would get a structural engineer to look at that opened-up loft on the second floor. What did they take out that was structural?

      Other than that – it LOOKS good. Neighborhood: plus that it is close to the Metro; minus – that is still a fairly rough neighborhood for that kind of price.

      I will be interesting to see what is goes for, and how quickly

      • anongardener

        Re: opened-up loft, you can see the beam that spans the house. all they did was blow out the ceiling and remove the ceiling joists, which are not structural. I think this is a pretty brilliant use of space, and I wish I’d thought of it, dammit. see how deeply recessed that upper window is? that’s because of the insulation. that room, and the whole house, looks pretty solid. I still think the price is steep. I will be amazed if this breaks 800.

    • saf

      Exposed brick means noise and cold. Don’t expose the brick!

    • textdoc

      I don’t really like exposed brick — it sheds grit unless lacquered, it means sound can travel between houses more easily, and since I don’t have much DIY knowledge, it would make hanging pictures more complicated. But it seems like most PoPvillers like exposed brick.
      I do wonder if it’s a trend that will fade with time.

  • Seems like WSD does such shoddy flips, so the price should tack on an addition 30k to fix everything they probably did wrong (sorry to be so cranky, I just do not like WSD). Otherwise, probably an okay deal, but not great.

    • I’ve seen a ton of their flips, and they all look pretty much exactly the same. I’m quite certain they own stock in whatever paint company supplies that color they use every single time. Whenever I see one of their listings I always scroll down to see what they got it for, those guys make some serious bank in DC.

    • Anonymous

      They are doing one close to me right now. I am very sad they are going to paint the brick on the house because it is actually really, really beautiful brick. I am not a brick purist if it is ugly go ahead and paint but that is not the case with this house. They have a formula and stick to it. They are doing houses all over Petworth… such a shame.

      • Petworth dude

        I can understand leaving the brick exterior unpainted if it’s the Maryland red-brick type, but I never found the brown bricks of your typical Warman to be that attractive. Nothing is wrong with adding a little bit of color.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, this house’s exterior is a really lovely red brick. It already stands out in the neighborhood because they are very few houses like it.

          And I don’t consider painting a house boring gray to be adding any color…. They will certainly go with the blandest color scheme possible…

          • jas

            from the picture in the article, clearly there are no other red brick homes in the neighborhood. why would they have painted the only red brick home on the street??

        • Anonymous

          talking about a house they are currently renovating not this one

        • textdoc

          Mostly agreed with Petworth Dude — I think red bricks should be left unpainted, but I don’t find tan bricks all that attractive.
          Even with tan bricks, though, it seems kind of obnoxious when a developer buys a house in a solid block of unpainted houses and paints it.

    • jim_ed

      not to mention this particular one was hit with a Stop Work Order during the flip. So I’d make sure I looked extra hard to see what was completed before any city inspectors looked at it.

    • Jim


  • Another Park Viewer

    Sure hope it sells for that much! So we can refinance and renovate our house (three blocks away) even more “stunningly” than this one. (Which, let’s face it, is going to be flip quality.)

  • Anonymous

    God, I hate the one-room first floor trend. Different uses, different spaces.

    And while the light upstairs is nice, what about insulation? Won’t those rooms be crazy hot/ cold? It’s HARD to climate control a large vertical space.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, being able to close off rooms downstairs is wonderful for temperature control. I’ve heard from people who have opened the front bedroom ceiling that if you have a fan that goes in reverse, the temperature is easy to control.

    • JS

      These flippers are just planning ahead – when the open floor plan craze abates in a few years, they’ll have plenty of business re-erecting the walls they tore down in all of their flips.

      • Anony

        With paper thin drywall

    • Anonymous

      My first floor is open and for me, it’s much more practical. I like entertaining and it’s great to be able to be in the kitchen and talk to friends in the dining room or living room. Perhaps not for everyone, but there is a reason why it is popular. Some of us like it!

  • LK

    445 Quincy is only a few blocks away from 630 Quebec and it apparently sold for 830k (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtWWuq9s_tI). There are certainly differences between the two places but I think the renovations are comparable enough to justify the asking price – particularly since folk in the reno business often ask for higher prices than they expect to receive in a final offer. My guess is that the place will close at or slightly above 750k.

    Still, I am curious about how appraisers choose comps for these types of properties.

  • evilstevie

    I love the lofted office in the master bedroom. Smart use of space!

  • ArchiWill

    I don’t understand the negative daggers being thrown at this house or at WSD as a whole. My friends bought a WSD house in Truxton Circle (there’s another one very near by now) and that house is awesome.

    These are not flips! They do a full gut renovation inside and out. The guys in the thread under “austindc” just sound like they have aesthetic differences and can’t speak much about real construction.

    Different strokes…

    • Anonymous

      How are these not flips? A renovation when the renovator never lives there is the *definition* of a flip.

    • Anonymous

      that’s true, they frequently take the houses down to the studs and rebuild.

    • Anon

      We bought a WSD flipped house. In the week after we closed, there was a leak in a very old pipe that they would have seen when they opened up the kitchen ceiling (which they did during the flip) and covered over without repairing it. Once we opened the ceiling it was glaringly obvious–rust and mold all around the leak. Two years later, the roof had a significant leak–a leak that was caught during our home inspection and “repaired.” We had to replace the pipes, and the roof. Not to mention a lot of little things that indicate a lack of attention to (fairly big) details – stove not hooked up to the gas, refrigerator door opening the wrong way, etc. It’s not a difference of aesthetics–actually I think they do quite well on the aesthetics! Maybe they put more money into flips in different price points? Ours was nowhere near this.

  • Anonymous

    We bought a WSD house in 16th Street Heights 2 years ago. It was the first house they did in the Petworth area, and they did it themselves instead of subcontracting it out. It was actually done decently, aside from a water issue we had in the basement that was mostly a gutter angle issue. However our neighbors got a WSD house that was done by subcontractors who subsequently skipped town, and they have had serious plumbing and HVAC issues that required major repairs. WSD definitely does have a design formula, and now that they are buying up every flippable house in Petworth, it might get to be a bit much. For a house this close to the metro with decent sized bedrooms, an in-law suite and off-street parking, i think they could get $799K. If they had any green space, maybe they would get asking.

  • Jno

    It’s nice.. but stunning? No. I am not stunned.

  • anonymous123

    I recently purchased a WSD flip and have one piece of advice: never, under any circumstance, buy a home by them. In fact, run away as fast you possibly can.

    Not only did they use subpar materials and subcontractors, the systems inside the house (HVAC, Water, Electrical, etc) have all had issues and I’ve had to replace most of them.

    Stay as far away as possible.

    • Anonymous

      Oh no :(. Where were all of you unhappy WSD buyers last year when I was trying to find reviews? I searched long and hard online and could only find neutral – positive WSD comments. Sigh – now I need to cross my fingers and hope for the best I guess.
      I bought a WSD home last year and we have had a few minor issues. Suprisingly, up until recently they’ve been responsive and have fixed the issues that came up post-sale (nothing as major as a rusted kitchen pipe though). Hopefully they have done a good job and have not covered up major problems- but I will say that throughout the process I’ve found that they were fair and I was impressed with their willingness to recognize / repair mistakes and/or issues. As to the open floor plan, maybe in a few years I’ll come to hate it too but for now, I think the light that I get on the main floor makes it worth the open walls. Plus, my house – like many others, just seems way too small for divided spaces – I’d much rather have my open entertainment space – it’s been great for all of my rocking parties.

  • Mary

    Just checked on Redfin, looks like someone snapped it up and WSD got their price.

    • textdoc

      So far it’s just under contract. We won’t know until it goes to closing whether the final price is in fact the asking price.
      There’s also a contingency with a kickout clause: “There is an accepted offer on this home, but the sellers would be willing to kick out the current offer for a better one. The ‘kick out’ clause is stated in the original Purchase and Sale Agreement between the current buyer and seller. If the sellers receive an acceptable offer from another buyer, they’re required to give notice to the current buyers, who will have 24-72 hours to decide whether they will issue a rescission notice. This is most common when the current buyers have a home to sell before they can buy a new one.”

      • Anonymous

        it’s probably near or over asking if they accepted an offer this quickly.

        • textdoc

          The kickout clause means that there’s really no downside to their accepting the offer, though.

  • Anonymous

    Hrmm, I also had a leak in my master the first time it rained, which they fixed. And yes the flimsy garage door is an absolute pain (haven’t paid for repairs on it yet though because it is fixed for free for the first year). Maybe I should check my sump pump pipe and HVAC system. Sorry about the extra expenses – it’s such a pain to have to find more cash after you’ve thrown a huge chunk at the house already.

  • bb

    I too am a purchaser of a WSD home. Unlike some others on here, I’d say that I’ve been 90% satisfied. A few minor repairs of cheap finishes here and there, but nothing major (yet). Most of my changes have been aesthetic. I happen to enjoy my wall-free first floor. I would probably steer first time home buyers away from a WSD property, but if you know what you’re doing, have a very thorough home inspection, and double-check everything that they change, you should be fine.

  • bb

    Also: getting a home warranty for a WSD home would be a good idea.

  • justme

    I like the way the design and think it looks pretty. One thing I’ve been obsessing over in my own house: where to end the tile backsplash in the kitchen. I think they got it wrong on both walls in this home. Looks like they stopped short on one wall and went to far on the other. Anybody have insight on the right place to end tile on an open floor plan kitcheN?

  • Honest

    House looks great. As someone who doesn’t have an open floor plan I wish I did.

  • Anonymous

    This hose sold in three days for more than asking according to the estate agents.

    • textdoc

      Agents aren’t supposed to tell outsiders what the offer price is until the transaction has gone to closing/settlement.

      • textdoc

        (At least that was my understanding.)

  • Anonymous

    The refrigerator seems a long way from the stove…


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