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4 D.C. homes that prove fixer-uppers aren’t always the most affordable option

Up to more than $1 million

For those who don’t mind putting in a little extra elbow grease, buying a fixer-upper can be a worthy transaction in Washington, D.C., a city which is known as one of the most expensive metro areas for buying or renting. While fixer-uppers tend to be cheaper options for homebuyers, that’s not always the case. One notable example of this was recently featured in Washington Business Journal: a $1.3 million townhouse in Columbia Heights with a listing description that admits it “needs TLC.”

In order to prove that this kind of listing isn’t so uncommon, Curbed DC has compiled a list of homes in D.C. proper that are over the city’s median listing price of $599,000 and that openly admit in the listing description that tender loving care is needed to make it fully liveable.


↑ While described as a “great opportunity,” this $650,000 single-family home is actually a little over-priced. Located in Brookland, it offers three bedrooms and one bathroom across 1,216 square feet of space. According to the listing, there is room to expand or add a garage.

There are some good qualities to this residence, such as its close location to the Metro (a little over half a mile!) and local favorites like Menomale and Brookland’s Finest. The lot size is also fairly large, spanning 8,460 square feet.

If interested in living nearby, perhaps consider this five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom single-family home, listed for $499,000, or this three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family home, listed for $534,900.

All photos via Turning Point Real Estate

↑ Certainly, this is not one of the dingiest homes on this list, but it is very pricey for what it has to offer. First, let’s go over the good qualities. It’s pretty spacious, spanning 2,532 square feet, with five bedrooms. The location is also pretty competitive, near many restaurants and retailers in Cleveland Park, including a Giant grocery store. The nearest Metro station is one mile away.

Now, this listing, which will be sold as-is, has some fairly peculiar color schemes inside. Expect a light neon green color in several rooms and a fairly pink bathroom. The fireplaces could use a good paint job, while the kitchen could be updated as well. Worst yet, while there are five bedrooms, there are only two bathrooms, so expect to share.

The price? $1,599,000. For more affordable options, try out this two-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family home, asking $869,000, or this four-bedroom, three-bathroom single-family home, asking $949,900.

Photo via Sophia Henry Real Estate

↑ This is certainly a mysterious house. It’s on the market for $900,000 with one bedroom and one and a half bathrooms across 1,530 square feet of space. There is only one photo available, the one seen above. The Georgetown listing reads simply, “Special property in need of TLC. Sold AS-IS.” There are no other details except that it was built in 1953 and last sold in April 2006 for $959,000.

In its previous listing on Redfin, it described itself as “completely renovated” with a library, wet bar, and large private terrace. Doesn’t sound too bad at all, actually. So, does it count as a fixer-upper? Curbed DC reached out to the listing agent, Ariadne Henry of Sophia Henry Real Estate, and was told that it is certainly in need of a renovation, but Henry would not go into any details as to why as the seller did not want these details advertised.

For those interested in a more affordable home that won’t be in need of renovation, try out this one-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse, priced at $849,900, or this two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse, priced at $799,000.

Photo via KL Associates, Inc.

↑ Another fixer-upper with very few photos and few details as well. Located in Eckington, this three-bedroom, two-bathroom end unit is on the market for $799,000. The listing indicates that it needs updates and is being offered as-is. It last sold in January 2015 for $570,000. A previous Redfin listing offers more photos inside (though they may not be current). These photos show a separate dining room, a kitchen with a tile backsplash, some awkward green carpeting, and a fairly sizeable lot.

For more options to choose from in Eckington, check out this three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo, listed at $774,990, and this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom condo, listed at $640,000.