Out into the cold cold world

Well some of my baby plants, have been placed in pots outside. I hope at least 1/2 of them live.
It is getting very crowded in the kitchen where they all have been sitting. I have had to transfer the tomato plants to bigger pots with bigger footprints. I will plant them outside on Tax Day (4/15/2004) which is supposed to be and I hope IS the last frost date for this area. And when we have 50F degree nights the picky citrus will be banished to the backyard.

Big Weekend House Tour

Ah, you know Spring is here when there are more open houses in the hood than you can shake a stick at.
1536 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Price: 429,000
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Fireplace: ?
Basement: Yes, unfinished
Parking: Carriage house
Well I sort of already covered this in yesterday’s post but to repeat, this is a purchase for investors. No wide eyed young dreamers, this house requires some serious work. There is a big hole on the first level where a bathroom was. The basement, was the very definition of unfinished, it was anti-finished. The carriage house, serviceable but in need of saving. The only thing that resemebled looking liveable was the upper apartment level (see picture). If I had to guess at what happened I’d have to say someone started trying to live on the 2nd floor and renovate the rest of the property but clearly was way over their head.
If one had the time and money, one could carve out 3 or 4 apartments. The basement and the 1st and second levels have separate entrances and are completely separate from each other. They all access the carriage house. The carriage house is 2 levels and would make an excellent loft, suped up garage space, mom-in law apartment, guest house, whatever. But all you need is time and money. Oh, and tolerance, as it is next door to a storefront church that can get a bit rowdy.
I was alerted to this house by a postcard the RE agent sent out and by neighbors B. and IT. IT took most of the pictures as I didn’t have my Palm on me. B. was useful as structural lab rat. He climbed the dodgy looking stairs to the second floor of the carriage house, and walked across the bridge. A lot on the property looked dodgy and will require a lot of work and money to fix up.
Offers taken March 23rd. Sold As-Is.

1642 4th St NW

Price: 270,000
Bedrooms: 1 (was 2)
Bathrooms: 1
Fireplace: no
Parking: Rear
B. had to admire the agent’s honesty when describing 1642 as a shell. ‘Cause that is what it was, a shell, a condemnable living space. You could live in this squalor, but for $270K, why? The nice thing about the first floor was the exposed brick (link to picture). In the right light it looked quaint against the faux paint plaster. Yet the house will need about $150K-$200K worth of work to make it livable and nice.
What’s wrong
The nice exposed brick cannot make up for all that is wrong and all that makes it a total gut job. Let’s start with the floors. Very dodgy. There were patches of linoelum and other odd bits and the floor was uneven. The upper level’s floors were worse. It seemed as if you could fall through. Some folks who had followed us took one look at the floor upstairs and turned around. I was with B., the fearless, he rides his bike through traffic without a helmet and walks across floors of question. The floors will need to be ripped up as there is nothing and no part of the floor that can be saved.
Another problem are the ceilings. The first floor’s main rooms had no ceilings, just the bottom of the semi-not there floor of the 2nd level. See the picture to the right and notice where the wall meets the ceiling sort of? Well it doesn’t. The wall stops where it stops. The ceiling is dodgy too(see picture).
Stairs. The stairs in the carriage house at 1536 New Jersey seemed more secure than the ones here. I was afraid to walk on them if another person was on them as well.
Last in the grand list of why the house needs to be totally gutted, is the layout. The only bathroom is on the first floor, behind the kitchen. There used to be 2 bedrooms, and one could carve 2 small bedrooms out in it’s current layout, but the best thing would be to knock out the back wall and build up from it’s current footprint up to the second level. From there a bathroom on the second floor could be put in, as well as a two decent sized bedrooms (or 1 bedroom 1 office), and if keeping the same footprint, one could still have parking in the back, replacing the huge 1960-1970s behemouth sitting out there now.
At $270K, if this thing goes under contract today (today they take bids) and sells for the going price, I will not question my tax assessment.

1614 New Jersey Ave
Price: 669,900
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2.5
Fireplace: 1 or more
Basement: no
Parking: back
On this block there was this and another house. The other house was a FSBO (for sale by owner) and not an open house. I only go to open houses as I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Nothing I can really say about the house’s structure, the things that make me want to comment is how the current owners have furnished and use the space. Any way I have pictures.Pix no. 1 and pix no. 2. It is in move in condition (once the owners move out) and doesn’t have any glaring issues with paint or moulding. It is a very contemporary looking house.

425 Q St, NW
Price: 549,000
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2.5
Fireplace: ?
Basement: no
Parking: off street
Curvy, is a way to describe this house. Well done and ready to move into. It has a nice feel. I particularly liked the stairwell and hallway to the kitchen as they had windows and touches that were nice. Anyway, pictures below: