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GDoN “Exquisitely designed” edition

by Prince Of Petworth August 4, 2015 at 12:45 pm 60 Comments

This unit is located at 3615 11th Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Exquisitely designed 2BR/2.5BA 2-story luxury penthouse w/a beautifully modern aesthetic. Light-filled open floorplan w/soaring ceilings & rear glass walls! Spectacular kitchen & baths! 2 master suites. Over 540 sf of outdoor space (huge private roof deck & 2 terraces)! Fully loaded smart home! On a quiet block, steps from hip 11th St. corridor & metro. 2-car pking. OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, 8/9, 2-4pm.”

You can see more photos here.

This 2 bed/2.5 bath is going for $824,900 ($265 monthly fee.)

  • What’s with the mismatched top floor windows? I thought maybe these were explained in the interior photos (i.e., they were in separate rooms) but nope…just two different windows in the master bedroom.

    • AG

      My guess is they made the opening for one of the windows too large (you can see in the interior photo that there is less space from the top of the window to the ceiling in the right window), and instead of trying to fix the siding and close the opening, they just got a bigger window.

      Surprised no one has commented on the weird giant staircase on the side of the house to get to the backyard. Goes from spiral to this grand monstrosity. Seems like overkill.

    • HaileUnlikely

      If it offers any insight, they failed their building inspection, mechanical inspection, plumbing inspection, and electrical inspection twice each, and although it is possible that the online permit verification system simply has not been updated yet, there is no indication that they ever made repairs and passed inspections.

  • JS

    I watched this thing go up. It did not inspire confidence. There used to be windows on the north party wall, which apparently the developer didn’t know are prohibited. They punched through the party wall on one side when building the pop up. Caveat emptor.

  • Susan

    Why keep the bars on the second story windows? Why mismatch the third story windows? Why SUCH an ugly popup??

    • Steve F

      The second story windows go all the way to the floor. It looks like they are trying to be doors, in which case you would need bars over the lower half…weird.

      • GBinCH

        So it’s a fairly non-descript Juliette balcony? Bizarre..

  • petworther

    I think this looks like a fine pop-up, but 824 seems a little over ambitious. 800k would get you an entire house within blocks of there.

    • JS

      For context, a full, renovated rowhouse on the 1300 block of Otis Pl (around the corner from here) just closed at 822K this week. This price is wildly ambitious.

      • GBinCH

        This place is very overpriced. ~$700-$750k seems more reasonable but there’s just so much wrong with this one in terms of aesthetics. It’s an incredibly ugly pop-up in my opinion.
        .
        But, as I own a few blocks away, my self-interest hopes this place sells for every single penny they’re asking for.

    • petworther

      I as actually thinking closer to 650. 725 would be really high. But yeah, we live nearby too and if popups condos are selling for 825 I’m going to be celebrating.

      • GBinCH

        You’re probably right actually. I might be being too generous here. $650k for this still makes me pretty happy!

        • JS

          1337 Spring had 2 units go for 740K and 775K. We’re already there in terms of pricing.

  • west_egg

    Personally I will never think $825k (+ monthly fee) is a good deal for half a house — particularly the upper half of an ugly pop-up.

  • urbanengineer

    If you call something a fully loaded smart home, it would be nice to explain somewhere what makes it different than just a regular home.

  • neighborhoodmalcontent

    but wait, i thought that pop-ups were supposed to create affordable housing along with density. isn’t that what we keep hearing???

    • anon

      come back after you know the sale price.

    • Clarifier

      In most instances condos are less than renovated THs in the same neighborhood, so they do create more relatively affordable housing, even leaving aside the broader question of supply. However this one appears to be overpriced. But let’s see what it actually sells for.

      • textdoc

        They’re “affordable” only in relative terms — they push up prices dramatically for unrenovated properties as well as for renovated ones, so in a short time a condo is selling for as much as or more than an entire house on the same block used to cost.

      • HaileUnlikely

        This might be a uniquely bad deal. I just went onto the DC PIVS to check on whether they appeared to have permits for all or at least most of what they did. Good news: they did. Bad news, their inspection reads:
        .

        Building Final – 6/24/2015 – DISAPPROVED
        .
        Plumbing Final – 6/24/2015 – DISAPPROVED
        .
        Electrical Final – 6/24-2015 – DISAPPROVED
        .
        Mechanical Final – 6/24/2015 – DISAPPROVED
        .
        Building Final – 6/10/2015 – DISAPPROVED

        You get the idea. I suppose it is possible that between June 24 and the present, they fixed their work and passed their inspections and that the system just has not been updated yet, but it does not exactly inspire confidence that they failed their building inspection, plumbing inspection, mechanical inspection, and electrical inspection, TWICE EACH, first 7 weeks ago and then again 5 weeks ago.

        • HaileUnlikely

          posted in wrong place, sorry, this was not a reply to the above.

        • annonny

          Well, at least they’re consistent? ;)

    • Leeran

      Ugh. At the margin, yes. Whatever this eventually goes for — it’s clearly listed high for the location — it’;s likely that the two units coming out of this house will be cheaper than the old, single house would have sold for if renovated in a similar fashion.

      • neighborhoodmalcontent

        do you have an example property of where this has happened?

        • JS

          Three renovated full rowhouses in the immediate vincity of this property have closed within 20K of $1 million in the past few months – 3817 Kansas, 1301 Quincy, and 1346 Oak. 825K (which this won’t sell for) isn’t cheap, but it’s not a million, either.

          • neighborhoodmalcontent

            i’m aware of all of those- the prices are insane in this (my) neighborhood. i was looking for an example of what leeran claimed where, ” two units coming out of this house will be cheaper than the old, single house would have sold for if renovated.”

          • JS

            Well, the house next door to this one sold for 828K renovated two years ago, so there’s that.

        • Leeran

          See the note from JS below… a full townhouse in this area runs more than even an expensive condo like this.

          It’s not a great situation, but it’s the best we’re likely to see if regulations are going to continue to limit our housing stock to such an extent.

          • neighborhoodmalcontent

            3821 10th $765k 6/10; 1306 Shepherd $685k 5/8; 1355 Taylor $740 7/6; 535 Quincy $656k 7/16; 1431 Parkwood $705 6/26; 751 Newton $625 6/30. you can still get a whole rowhouse (updated/renovated) in this area for less than or close to what this is (admittedly only) listed for. i’m still curious if anyone has any examples of a pop-up where the units are cheaper than what the whole house would have sold for in an updated/renovated state. (though i am now wondering if leeran meant the units are cheaper, separately, than a whole house [sometimes], or that the units *together* are cheaper than a whole house [i haven’t seen that at all, and this is how i originally read it].

          • HaileUnlikely

            Typically when a developer buys and renovates a house, they typically either sell it as a single-family home or else divide it into condos and sell the condos, i.e., one or the other, not both. What you are looking for is called a counterfactual. Examples are not forthcoming because they do not exist.

          • JS

            You read the initial statement incorrectly. No one says that the two units combined are less than what the whole house would sell for. I noticed that none of your comps are actual new flips, which in my estimation would be a more apt comparison to this property.

          • JS

            In any case, this place is massively overpriced and I’m guessing it will probably sell closer to 500 – 550 a square foot (~675 – 750K).

          • neighborhoodmalcontent

            why would i compare them to flipped houses? are there flipped affordable houses/condos out there? my point is that popups are not increasing affordable housing. there are no flippers who are buying rowhouses and popping them up and selling the units at affordable prices. you *can* however, still buy updated/renovated rowhouses in this neighborhood for less than a flipped popup condo, and if you just want liveable (no granite, upgrades, etc.), you can get a whole rowhouse for closer to $500k.

  • Rich

    Really ugly exterior.. The perspective is odd. I’ll bet the bathrooms, esp. #2 are very small. Bedroom #2 also looks small/narrow. They obviously love the living/dining area. My much smaller 1 br condo has a more functional kitchen. The narrowness of the house is a fundamental flaw. It never should have been made into a condo. Totally overpriced.

  • Anony

    It amazes me how such simple exterior features such as matching windows can be ignored when they expect over $800k. These type of things always make me wonder what else did they skimp on. Great area but like most of these shoddy pop-ups will likely need major work in a couple years. Give me an owner renovated property any day!!

  • MAR

    The fact that apparently the developer installed two different windows in the master and let that slide would make me EXTREMELY worried about what else they let slide.

    • textdoc

      +1.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Want to know what else they let slide? The answer appears to be “basically everything.” I just went onto the DC PIVS to check on whether they appeared to have permits for all or at least most of what they did. Good news: they did. Bad news, their inspection reads:
      .

      Building Final – 6/24/2015 – DISAPPROVED
      .
      Plumbing Final – 6/24/2015 – DISAPPROVED
      .
      Electrical Final – 6/24-2015 – DISAPPROVED
      .
      Mechanical Final – 6/24/2015 – DISAPPROVED
      .
      Building Final – 6/10/2015 – DISAPPROVED

      You get the idea. I suppose it is possible that between June 24 and the present, they fixed their work and passed their inspections and that the system just has not been updated yet, but it does not exactly inspire confidence that they failed their building inspection, plumbing inspection, mechanical inspection, and electrical inspection, TWICE EACH, first 7 weeks ago and then again 5 weeks ago.

      • textdoc

        Wow. That’s pretty bad.

      • JS

        If you look at the previous inspection records, the property is listed as having failed AND passed preliminary inspections ON THE SAME DAY. I have no idea what is going on with this place, but I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

  • Los

    The synthetic marihuana epidemic, apparently, has reached developers. I see no other explanation.

    • textdoc

      Actual LOL!

  • HaileUnlikely

    This is just plain silly. Momentarily ignoring opportunity to resell and make a quick buck, I would not trade my house (presently valued at a little less than *half* of the asking price for this) as an even exchange.

  • Irving Streete

    Aesthetically it’s a horrific mashup. I realize not every house has charming period details to craft a renovation around but the everything from the outside staircases to the windows to the lighting seems pasted on from a kit that had nothing to do with the design of the house or the age of the neighborhood. A kit bought at a discount because it was from the 1990s.

  • kken

    Should just stop using GDoN as a tag line because none of these are ever ever a good deal.

  • I Dont Get It

    What’s with the platform diving board over the front door?

  • Anonymous

    Thing is, notwithstanding all the negative comments about the exterior, it’s actually a pretty sweet renovation on the inside. I’d never pay $825k for it, and I have a hard time believing anyone else would. But it’s a nice place.

    • HaileUnlikely

      A pretty sweet reno that failed building, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical inspections, twice each, and to the best of my ability to tell, never passed them.

      • zartan

        yeah but the trim molding is beautiful. just focus on that.

      • ash

        Well shucks, were there any inspections left for them to fail?!? That’s extremely unnerving. I assumed that those things would need to be addressed prior to hitting the market, no? I guess that shows how much (more like little) I know about the real estate game. This would definitely come up during inspection though, right? I know there were some instances a while ago with developers being sued because folks were buying these expensive flips in Columbia Heights, only to realize that the work was shotty/not up to code and required hundreds of thousands of dollars to address all of the problems. I can’t imagine having to deal with that nightmare.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Honestly, I do not know what the law is regarding the sale of a property that has failed a bunch of inspections. It isn’t all that unusual for houses to have some work done without permits and without any inspections and then be sold, but I’d think (I do not know this) that it would be somewhat of a different ballgame when permits are obtained, inspections are performed, and the inspections are failed. What I think might change the game here is that because this property was converted from one unit (a normal house) to two units (this condo and the one below it), the developer needs to apply for a new Certificate of Occupancy for each unit, and failed inspections might (again, I don’t know this) prevent the C of O from being issued, and I’m not sure what the law says about selling a property that does not have a C of O. In closing, for the love of Zeus, do not buy this condo.

          • nate

            I was under the impression most banks won’t fund a loan on a property w/o a C of O. Our closing was held up for a week as DC hadn’t yet issued the C of O for our place.

        • me

          Nope. Home inspectors are worthless.

  • ET

    Seems like there are enough red flags on this to make someone with an ounce of sense hesitate – particularly at that price. Just looking at there are the 2nd story windows but also there is the structure with the meters on it which looks temporary to me. That doesn’t even get to the problems with the inspections that they buyers may not even look and and which may have been resolved even if the DCRA system doesn’t reflect that.

  • bloomingdame

    Looks like they passed inspections on Tuesday, August 4.

    • HaileUnlikely

      How did you find this out? (I believe you, and am genuinely curious.)

    • anonamom

      I’m no expert and don’t pretend to be, but I would have though that electrical and plumbing inspections in particular would need to be completed and passed prior to drywall going up?

  • crin

    They should just blow up the interior photos to billboard size and paste them to the front. Because the front right now says “slapped together.”

  • FormerNeighbor

    This place is COMPLETELY overpriced. I lived within a few houses of this property about a year/year and a half ago. The surrounding properties are not that great (I admit it as a former neighbor) and the area itself is just okay. The property sold 14 months ago for $626k, and I believe it sold about a year before that for about $400k (but I could be wrong). Seeing as the listing is for only 2/3 of the house, I’d say it could MAYBE go for $600k.

  • quincy dude

    For that price, buy a rowhouse a few blocks further north instead of a condo/half of a house.

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