“this bungalow with abundant original details was the lowest settled sale of a detached fee simple home in Kent in literally years”

by Prince Of Petworth March 17, 2017 at 10:40 am 18 Comments


Good Deal or Not Revisited (GDoN-R) is a weekly post that reviews the settled sales data of a recent individual real estate transaction in the District of Columbia. Each post is a snapshot of the real estate market at a particular moment in time. GDoN-R generally posts on Friday in the late morning.

GDoN-R has been written exclusively for Popville since 2009 by Suzanne Des Marais. Suzanne is a practicing Realtor with the Bediz Group, LLC at Keller Williams Capital Properties . Unless specifically noted, neither she nor the company that she is affiliated with represented any of the parties or were directly involved in the transaction reported below. Unless otherwise noted, the source of information is Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), which is the local multiple listing system and/or Smartcharts by Showingtime). Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property: 5409 Macarthur Blvd NW
Legal Subdivision: Kent
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Kent
Bedrooms: 6 Baths: 3 Parking: Street Ownership: Fee Simple
Original List Price: $750,00. List Price at Contract: $750,000.
List Date: 12/10/2016 Days on Market: 42
Settled Sales Price: $725,000.
Seller Subsidy: $25,000.
Settlement Date: 3/7/2017
Transaction type: Standard

Original GDoN post can be seen: here.

The original listing can be seen here: here.

Kent is a neighborhood above MacArthur Boulevard and close to the far left point of the DC map. At net $700,000., this bungalow with abundant original details was the lowest settled sale of a detached fee simple home in Kent in literally years. (The next lowest was a $710,000. sale in March 2015.)

Average net sale price for detached fee simple properties in Kent for the past six months was $1,879,913. Still, the subject property was listed during the cold month of December when many Buyers and investors may have been pre-occupied with election results and holiday parties, and the house remained on the market for over a month.

In contrast, condo units along MacArthur Boulevard NW since September 2016 are selling for an average net price of $291,376. There are currently two active small condos under $300,000.

The listing agent for this property was Brian Wilson with Wilson Realty Group, Inc. Michael Rankin, with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty assisted the Buyer.

  • hungeegirl

    well, based on the pics on redfin…it’s in not-so-good condition

    • textdoc

      I can’t tell from the photos whether the white paint is peeling off to reveal blue underneath, or whether it’s some kind of weird pixellation thing where it’s coming up blue on the screen but wasn’t blue in real life.

      • textdoc

        Nevermind — I’m seeing weird blue (and red) pixellation in some other photos, so I think it’s a problem with my browser and/or monitor.

  • Bloomy

    Ugh I want this house.

  • anon

    this house is a major project but an interesting one. Likely also needs work on retaining wall in front in addition to needing a gut reno. Probably needs $250-300K of work

    • Accountering

      A renovation on a house this size is not $250-300K. You could get a very nice renovation done here for much less.

      • dcd

        You could do a basic renovation for less than $250,000, I guess, but I have the feeling there’s a lot of hidden work that will end up being pretty costly. I certainly wouldn’t plan on less than $200,000, and something nice, I’d guess closer to $300,000. The kitchen alone will be at least $50,000, probably closer to $75,000. Although I suppose a lot of this depends on one’s definition of nice.

  • Anon

    They are going to need that extra $25K once they start gutting this place. From the way the outlets look it will need some heavy electrical work to get up to specs.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I don’t think you can eyeball the amount of electrical work needed without even a glimpse of the circuit breaker panel. Worst case scenario – the place has ancient aluminum wiring and only 4 circuits on a 100 Amp panel. In that case you’ll need to gut the whole place just to make the electrical safe regardless of what else you want to do. More likely scenario – the electrical system is fine but you might want to replace old outlets and switches with new ones (can DIY, handyman can also do, probably $2K if you actually hire an electrician, which is not necessary to replace outlets and switches!) and maybe rewire the kitchen to comply with code changes that likely took effect after this house’s electrical was last done (i.e., need two 20-Amp small appliance circuits; current wiring is probably technically grandfathered but this is really worth doing to avoid tripping circuits all the time with toaster, microwave, etc; probably $1K if the walls are already open). If you need to modernize the panel, installing a whole new panel would run about $3K-$5K. Excluding demo that you already want to do anyway, the electrical should not be more than $10K even in the worst case scenario.

    • textdoc

      All I can see from the outlets is that the bathroom ones (and maybe the kitchen ones too, but those photos don’t show the outlets as well) should be GFCI but aren’t.
      If the outlets were 2-prong ones instead of 3-prong ones, THEN I’d be worried.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Agreed, though even if 2-prong, it is quite possible that they have the grounding conductor (wire) present and just not connected to anything. That was the case in the last place I rented – I replaced several 2-prong outlets with 3-prong and installed GFCIs were we should have had GFCIs but didn’t. (I’d haile recommend that any homeowner without an infinite supply of money learn how to do basic electrical stuff correctly and safely; one can potentially save many thousands of dollars by doing simple things instead of having an electrician do each one; and by not leading electricians on wild goose chases billed at $169/hr when you do have to call one.)

        • textdoc

          BTW, I can’t remember if I reported back that I did eventually test every single switch in my circuit breaker panel to get everything properly labeled, and in doing so I figured out (I think) what was up with that weird situation from when I was trying to install the Honeywell timer switch. (This was the one where I stopped because I was worried I was going to electrocute myself — https://www.popville.com/2016/04/random-reader-rant-andor-revel-1541/#comment-1111082 .)
          It turned out that the two neighboring light switches that were right next to each other were _not_ controlled by the same circuit breaker switch. So if/when I want to give the installation another try, I’ll need to turn off two circuit breaker switches, not just one.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Good and important catch – that is a pretty common situation. If you do install the Honeywell switch yourself (or hell, even if you have a contractor do it – don’t count on them getting the following right, either) – make sure that the neutral (usually white) wires that you connect to the white wire on the switch are from the same circuit (i.e., come out from the same cables) as the “hot” (usually black) wire and the switched wire (also black) that you connect to the other wires on the Honeywell. This is relevant because right now the box probably has two sets of white wires tucked away in the back not connected to anything; it is important to connect the ones from the same circuit, not the other circuit, to the switch.

          • textdoc

            Thanks for the tip on the white wires!

  • Jay

    Interesting… there was a third MacArthur Blvd. condo that had been on the market for about three months. It doesn’t look like it sold, but rather was taken off the market. I went to an open house there with a friend… we both liked it and thought it was reasonably priced. I know those condos aren’t the most hot, in-demand properties, but they are relatively affordable and they aren’t that far out. For all of Metro’s trials and tribulations, I guess that shows how much people still value subway access…

  • maxwell smart

    Maybe it’s my recent guilty-pleasure binging of Fixer Upper, but I could see with a little work, this could be a perfectly lovely house.

    • textdoc

      +1. It looks perfectly livable as-is, just in need of some cosmetic updates.

      • maxwell smart

        Yeah – the usual kitchen and bathroom updates alone would really turn this place around.


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