From the Forum – The Ugliest House to Inspire a Bidding War?

by Prince Of Petworth February 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm 26 Comments


The Ugliest House to Inspire a Bidding War?

“I found this house on Zillow, my god is the aesthetics in the interior are nothing short of horrible. Green Carpet, Salmon Bathrooms, a Scary Basement!

The kicker…it’s a block away from the Rock Creek Park, specifically, the RCP Golf Course on 16th street. It’s also $350,000, which is nearly $100,000 under it’s zillow appraisal value. This is one of those rare bargains in NW close to the park, so despite it’s horrible aesthetics there is likely people who are going to look past them.”

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  • Andie

    I bet there’s pretty sweet hardwood under that carpet. I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes very quickly!

  • Pixie

    My grandmother had this exact shade of green carpet all over the first floor of her house as well. She also had an awesome pink and black tiled bathroom.

    • Anon

      I think that was the trend. My house in NE had the same carpet throughout and beautiful hardwood floors underneath. We also have the pink tiled walls in the bathroom with black and white tiled floors.

    • Jen

      My childhood bathroom had pink and black tile. My parents didn’t want to pay to replace it so my mom found fabulous superman wallpaper to hang above it. I miss that wallpaper (and I hate wallpaper but that pattern rocked!)

  • Anonymous

    I highly doubt that there will be a bidding war on this. We looked at a similar unit down the street last spring that went for about 450k. That unit was however newly renovated and had updated systems throughout. Judging by the looks of this one, I’d assume there are some major systems that need to be updated, which will cost beaucoup $$$. So unless something drastically changed for that area since last May (doubt it), this looks to be priced about right.

  • yunkstahn

    Maybe I’m alone in this, but I love colorful tilework in bathrooms, especially if it’s pink and from the 1950s. It’s a bathroom; why make it boring? And no doubt commenter Andie is right—there’s gonna be nice floors under that nasty green carpet. The house itself is good, solid early-50s. The rounded arch doorways are attractive, and the kitchen, though dated, is pretty inoffensive. Livable, anyway. We’ve seen far uglier houses on PoPville!

    • Anonymous

      Some friends hired a contractor to replace their pink 50s subway tile, and he told them to leave it b/c they wouldn’t get either tile or workmanship of nearly the same quality today. They then just “owned it” and had a sweet bathroom.

      • yunkstahn

        Nice! The house I grew up in (built in the late ’40s) had two full bathrooms, both with that same kind of tile that goes 2/3 the way up the wall. The upstairs one was very light gray and maroon, and the downstairs one was a lovely mint green and butter yellow, with green tub, sink, and toilet. I miss that house. Also, I once went to an open house in my hometown for a little ’50s ranch. Original owner. The *kitchen* was tiled halfway up the wall with bubblegum pink squares with multicolor flecks. The original appliances had to have been pink, too. It was amazing and really a lot of fun.

  • anon

    With that carpet, they should have put an attractive Eastern European model in those photos.

  • Wobble

    Most people cannot look past the nasty green carpeting, the curtains, the light fixtures. These are things that are easy to fix. Somebody with a go beyond this, close their eyes and see what it could be, will get a good deal.

    Revisit this one Popville. I think there will be a bidding war, and it will go quickly.

    I wish I were in the market.

    • I’m with you. I think it has great bones (nice hardwood floors in the bedrooms, great arched doorways) and I can see beyond the ugly paint. I would love to be on the market and fix this place up!

    • Anonymous

      Totally. The new owner should profusely thank the previous owner for installing the floor protector (i.e. the ugly wall to wall).

  • kken

    It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose again.

    • Alex

      lol. This made me so happy :D

      • kken

        I try. And I’m in a really good mood today. :D

  • Scared

    Carpet and tile can be replaced… but the American Horror Story style basement? That’s a deal-breaker for me. It looks terrifying.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t get why people are saying the basement looks scary. It looks like a normal unfinished basement- I’ve seen a lot worse. I guess we’re so used to having finished basements that an unfinished one looks scary now.

  • Alex

    Zillow is usually a little lofty with their home values (IMO). I could definitely look past the style of the interior, it looks like it’s in great shape! But for a non-updated duplex in that area, I don’t think it will spark a bidding war. The only amenity nearby is Wal Mart :-/

    • Anonymous

      It depends. Based on sales in the last few months in my neighborhood, I’d say zillow value is about $100K less than what my house is actually worth. The problem is it doesn’t take level of renovation into account, and we have done a lot of updating.

  • Rittenhouse

    Considering the place is already under contract and was on the market for only 9 days, someone out there thinks it is a good deal.

    It is amusing to read people here making the decision on whether or not a house is a good deal by the color on the wall, or the carpet on the floor. You could repaint the entire interior of that house and recarpet the entire thing for 5-7K.

    • Anonymous

      “It is amusing to read people here making the decision on whether or not a house is a good deal by the color on the wall”
      I think that just the opposite is happening, actually. Folks are pointing out how this seems like a solid deal, largely because the house hasn’t been “flipped” by a developer. Sure, there are jokes, but they all seem in good jest.

  • Anon no.5

    It’s all in how your sell it. I can see it now: “own a Mad Men house” or “perfectly intact mid-century modern”

  • Rich

    Clearly too many Biffs and Bettys from Bethesda around here. Nothing wrong with that basement. Pften people left the concrete floor in place which makes them look more barren. The floors under the wall-to-wall actually might be poor quality but either way, some paint and modest capital investment would make this look very good. I’d be more concerbned with teh mechanicals than anything else. It looks like the kitchen was upgraded at some point. Surpised that our “finishes” snob hasn’t weighed-in on that. To put in perspective, though–you could buy a single family house in Hillcrest for the same price or less and be closer to Metro.

  • Anonymous

    Whatever, that carpet is fabulous

  • Anon

    The colors might be out of date, but it looks like the house was taken care of. The house even had central air!

  • not telling

    The house has excellent bones. Arched doorways, post war detailing, spacious rooms. I’d rip out the kitchen and bathroom in almost any house I’ve ever looked at any way. Add some new lighting, remove the drapery head boxes, put some drywall up on the ceiling in the basement.

    The house is priced about $100k less than neighboring houses and it wouldn’t cost that much to make these cosmetic upgrades.

    But bidding war? If it were in a better location, maybe. But people aren’t really running to live at 16th and Military road.


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