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GDoN “Quintessential historic DC character” edition

by Prince Of Petworth January 14, 2016 at 12:40 pm 21 Comments

703 Harvard Street Northwest

This house is located at 703 Harvard Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Quintessential historic DC character in this 1910 renovated federal townhouse w/PARKING. Front yard garden & welcoming porch, updated bathroom & kitchen w/marble floors, central heat/air, HWF, exposed brick wall, garden shed & private patio. Future potential to add 3rd level. Walk to U St./Columbia Heights metros. OPEN SUN 1-3PM”


You can see more photos here.

This 2 bed/1 bath is going for $479,000.

  • mmm

    seems like a pretty good deal although that house is tiny.

    • JohnH

      It’s almost 1,000 sq ft, which is a pretty good size for 2/1. The layout of the kitchen is tricky to change if you don’t like galley. It is an old house – wonder how new the non-interesting stuff is.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Do these houses have basements? I cannot tell. I do not see any obvious entrance to a basement. I suspect that there is no basement.

  • petworther

    Condo alternative anyone?
    Seems like a reasonable price, possible a little low. A lot of the listings this week seem either a little low or very ambitious. I think realtors are still testing the market after the holidays to get a feel how 2016 is going to look.

    • cjCP

      as a potential buyer one hopes the market will turn a bit at some point and maybe this is a sign. However, at this point I’ve chocked it up to hopes of a bidding war.

  • navyard

    Looks nice. They did a great job with the design and decor. Tons of seating in the LR for such a small space. could fit a lot of people, but doesn’t look cramped. nicely done.

    Question though: on the exposed brick wall, the top of the brick looks to be crumbling. What’s on the other side of that brick? is there a firewall, or can you see/hear directly into the next-door neighbor’s LR? Does every row home have its OWN brick wall, with an air space between? or is the brick wall shared by both neighbors?

    • JS

      Don’t know about this place, but my house has 3 layers of brick on my side of the wall and 3 layers of brick on my neighbors’ walls. No air gap between each set of 3.

    • petworther

      Party walls typically have two layers of brick.

  • Anon

    There’s gotta be a catch here. Is this block really that dicey?

    • JS

      It’s $500/square foot – not exactly “deal” territory and Harvard’s a pretty busy street. You also get a lot of ambulance traffic on the way to Washington Hospital Center.

      • Tony

        Homes of this size regularly sell for more that $500/sqft in this area, although this only has one bath. I think this will sell for closer to $500k. Great condo alternative.

    • jcm

      I don’t think that block is particularly dicey. It’s all ginkgoes on that block, though, so it can be stinky (but beautiful) in fall.

    • JCo

      I lived on this block for years and left it in mid-2013. As a woman who doesn’t own a car and has to walk everywhere, I wouldn’t buy on this block, especially so close to Georgia Avenue. There were many nights that I felt unsafe walking home, and many mornings full of catcalling from loitering men in the neighborhood whenever I walked to the store to buy milk or a coffee. One time a man tried to follow me and force his way into my house. I wasn’t wearing headphones or anything, and I was always fairly conscientious of my surroundings. Fortunately my roommates were home at the time and called the police when he was trying to force himself inside the doorway and threatening us. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I were coming home to an empty house. That really scared me. Cops didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic to follow up. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t be eager to invest in spending many future years on this street. But the price seems about right, given the space, compared to comps on the street.

      • Anonymous

        Any idea who the next-door neighbor is? Western house looks very nice and well loved. The eastern neighbor house looks quite shabby and neglected. Me thinks that might be driving this pricing.

        • JCo

          I’m not sure who the particular neighbor is, but there are a number of older and somewhat neglected homes heading toward the end of that street. There’s a vacant (commercial?) property across the street on the corner of Harvard & Georgia, at least it was until recently. I looked at another house a few doors down to the left that was listed at $375,000 at the end of 2014. That house had major structural issues. A developer started a flip and decided to sell it midway through the renovation process. Also, there’s a back alley to be concerned with behind this row of houses.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Disagreed regarding house next door. The owners of that house is clearly putting some work into it right now. It used to be all painted red. They are in the middle of stripping the paint and restoring the brick underneath. They also added the second floor balcony in the past year or so – it didn’t used to be there. If you look down on everybody who owns a house not purchased as a flip and can’t afford to completely renovate in one shot, I’d rather have the owner of 701 Harvard than you as my neighbor.

        • textdoc

          I don’t agree with the eastern house-owner’s sense of taste/design — I’m not keen on the purple porch trim, or with turning the roof of the porch into a balcony — but I wouldn’t call it “shabby” or “neglected” per se.

        • textdoc

          Across the alley from the eastern house, however, is a commercial corner property that has been vacant for something like 10 years, whose side wall attracts graffiti, and whose side yard is unmowed and often jungle-like.

          • heffieb

            That place has been in use until very recently making and packaging lunches for delivery to DC schools. It’s a very early morning operation for the most part. For about a year now I have seen people working on the space intermittently and no meals coming out. Not sure if they will be getting back into that line or if they will be doing something else.

  • ET

    No amount of staging is going to make that living room look bigger.

    • figby

      Nice to see the placement of the stairs in the back of the room, though. The usual stairs-up-the-side makes those small living rooms so narrow and tricky.


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