This home is located at 718 Rhode Island Ave, NW:

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The flier says:


You can find more info here and a virtual tour here.

Well this is def. a unique one – what do you think of the layout? Pretty wild.

This 1 bed/2.5 bath is going for $499,000 – sound realistic?

87 Comment

  • Maybe the pictures don’t do it justice, but based on the pictures alone I’d say this one when completely off the rails. 1 bedroom? Seriously?

    That spiral staircase would be fun for about 3 days, after which you would start appreciating the genius of typical rowhouse layouts.

    No privacy in the yard, which sucks at .5 million.

    • *went completely off the rails.

    • Plus what kind of crazy do you have to be to put in 2.5 baths for just one bedroom? Let’s see, there’s a full master bath for the resident, plus a half bath for visitors…PLUS another full bath in case one visitor is in the half bath and another visitor needs a…shower?

      • hahahahaha.

        maybe it’s for the neighbors?

      • It’s a one bedroom because the guest room/office doesn’t really have a door. So you can have overnight guests stay there in the spare room – and the second bath would come in handy. I just wonder why they didn’t fully enclose that second room to call it a 2 bedroom.

        • It’d be way cheap to do so. Just put in a door entry, and you’d be popping up on way more MLS searches as a 2 bedroom. That’ll lead to a higher sales price or quicker sale.

          • I am wondering if that office could qualify as a bedroom. The ceiling height looks low. I don’t know. I am not an expert. Interesting house for sure. I imagine its had to price something like this.

  • I mostly like the aesthetic, but it seems like an enormous waste of space to eliminate square feet to create a lofted area…they’ve essentially turned what appears to have been an average-sized row house into a “condo alternative.”

    • I agree.

      Also, is it just me or is that big side window a bit odd?

      weird captcha symetry: 2244

    • Lofted areas are a new feature that’s showing up in a lot of two level flips in the “east of 7th” neighborhoods. It’s usually done to greater effect than this place — although I like it for it’s quirks.

  • A very interesting, cool place for a couple. And 1,458 sq ft is actually a good bit of space. But I don’t know if I want to live on the corner of Rhode Island and *anywhere*.

  • There’s no telling what this place will go for in the end.

    But — yee-ow. That house would require extensive reworking. The loft-ization of the interior is, to use the euphemism, “taste-specific.”

  • Besides the fact that they seem to somehow have SHRUNK this house with this renovation, they are also quite selective in the real estate speak, which i find hilarious. it is half a block from the SHAW metro, across the street from the SHAW library. . .
    Now, there is a lot of Shaw that I like, and I live in Eckington, so I’m not one to throw stones at a transitional neighborhood, but let’s just be clear what we’re really talking about here. Remember this?

    • Yeah – it is in Shaw – and I realize there has been a recent spat of violent crime in the area, but that doesn’t change the fact that, as far as up and coming neighborhoods go, it is still a desirable place to live. It is transitional, but is extremely metro accessible. It is also extremely close to U St, which is a huge bonus. I don’t think the fact that it is in Shaw is the kiss of death for properties you make it out to be. That said, if I were selling in this location, I would probably hold off putting my property on the market for another month or so due to that specific shooting you are citing…

      • I think the dude’s point is not to put down Shaw but that it’s a little silly that the property is advertised as being in Logan.

  • To be fair, this place is about 1500 square feet. Most new 2 bedrooms in the city are around 1000 square feet. So, it’s pretty big.

    That being said, this place is just sort of odd. It will take a really unique buyer to want something like this.

    • Square footage is large, to be sure. But the use of space is so strange that I could totally see it feeling a lot smaller than it actually is

  • its not the most efficient use of space, but i think it is worth it for the look. a good deal, despite being on ri ave.

  • It’s certainly interesting, but they’re seriously asking $500K for a one-bedroom with zero outdoor privacy, on RI Ave? I know it’s close to Metro, but yikes. It would require a buyer with extremely particular taste.

  • There’s a random, shady corner market across 8th street from this place. That would deter me from buying the place, everything else aside. I felt so claustrophobic looking at those pictures.

    But it does have a “DINGING ROOM,” and you can’t really put a price on that. Sorry, the spelling nerd in me came out.

    • I believe the correct real estate spelling of that would be (ahem!) “DINNING room”.

      Now let me tell you about this great “walking closet”…

      • Damn — I just looked at the virtual tour and this place’s


        If this were my place and an agent put up half-literate crap like this, he’d be gone.

        • Then again – with a renovation like this do you think the owner actually notices the errors in the listing??

  • It’s a shame that it is only one bedroom. Not that it’s a kid-friendly place to begin with, but having at least two bedrooms or rooms that could be used as a bedroom is a huge selling point. I do kind of like the funky-styled interior. Agree that it will take a unique buyer.

  • $500K? On that block? For this place?

    Knock that price down by about 40% and then come talk to me.

  • bad deal.

  • A general shout out to POP and his readers. You guys and gals are brutal. You are savy with strong oponions. Once I get my basement renovation done, I will take a deep breath and present it to the group for final approval and pricing.

  • During the 1968 presidential election there was a famous commercial which just featured laughter and the title “Vice President Spiro Agnew?”
    This listing reminds me of that commercial.

  • I feel like it’d be incredibly difficult to get any furniture into those upstairs spaces. Did they throw it over the railing or rent a giant to hoist it over his head?

  • You never know with DC’s real estate market. Walked by this place the other day and an “under contract” sign had been placed out front.

    • I work with the guy who bought that place on W st. It wouldn’t work for me, but he’s a bachelor who spends most of his time at Duffy’s and the 930 club, so I think he will probably be just fine with it.

      • god, the people I work with think Capitol Hill is a scary place…

        • hahaha. thats awesome. i hope you encourage their fear.

          • Not really, but I’m starting to find it annoying that every time we go out to lunch we have to drive out to some insipid chain restaurant in Crystal City instead of going to Matchbox or Ted’s Bulletin up the street.

          • anon,
            you guys drive from the hill to crystal city for lunch???? yeah, i too would get annoyed with that real damn quick. are they old people?

        • (and I mean the neighborhood not the political realm)

        • I was on Capitol Hill with friends from Columbia Heights this weekend…they saw a crowd on the sidewalk and two cop cars and assumed it was a shooting. Nope, just crowd control at We the Pizza.

    • Now looking at that I think it is a good deal. This market is all over the place lately.

      • I remember that place getting ripped apart when it was on Deal/NoDeal a few weeks ago, but the more I look at it, the better it sounds. Obviously not for a family, but for a single person/couple that likes going out on U St. it looks great. Interested to see what the owner does with that tiny 2nd bedroom and the patio.

  • I really like this place, but I wouldn’t pay more than 330K for it. I know it will go for more than that. But that’s what it seems worth to me

  • Nope, I don’t want a damn thing suspended over my kitchen!

  • I went to the open house a week or so ago: it’s absolutely tiny. It is not the normal footprint of a DC rowhouse, but much smaller. The space is thus used somewhat interestingly. The space simply isn’t large enough for a traditional staircase.

    I bet this sells for something like 400-425. I’ll be quite curious.

  • I’m doubting the square foot numbers. From the looks of it the and from public data the lot is only 453 sq ft — that is extremely small and the building it occupying the entire lot. That being the case when the place was 3 floors it would then equate to the 1,458 sq feet when you take into consideration the bay window which projects onto public space — note this house has technically zero yard space. I would say this place is most likely closer to 1200 sq feet given that they took away 1/2 a floor.

    • This would be my guess as well. We’re looking at 1200 feet — tops, and perhaps closet to 1050-1100. But I don’t think there ever was a full floor that was cut away. Instead, during the last reno, the floor heights were all shrunk and a middle floor was inserted. Given the smallness of the houses’ footprint, it actually increases the space greatly.

      I’m not saying I’d want to have a spiral staircase in the middle of my house, just that there aren’t many options when you actually see the place.

  • Taste specific. Its a good condo alternative if you are in the market for a two bedroom loft-esque condo.
    In the end this is one of those rennovations that will get liitle bang for the buck. The money they spent removing square footage won’t be returned.
    I would really like to see some before pictures to see what the ceiling height in the living room was prior to the rennovation – as the photos make it look like it was around 7′ for the first floor and 6.5′ for the second.

    • There’s no way – houses built in this area never had ceilings lower than 9′.

      This is also one of the worst renovations I have ever seen.

    • The first floor was dropped down into the crawl space/low-height basement to get the extra space. The window above the door frame was originally part of the door opening.

  • I’ve got to question the common sense of the builder. You have 1500square feet and you decide to make it a 1br and 2.5 bathroom place?

    I dont get it.

    It 475k-525k would be just fine if this were 2br/2ba.

    • It never was this big. Pre-renovation it was 2 stories, about 900 sq ft. The renovation cut down on ceiling height in order to add a third story where there was none, probably bringing square footage to in the ballpark of 1100.

  • Too specific taste and set up. I do love the style and setup, but would not even consider it at this point in my life. I suggest switching it to a rental so people just passing through DC could rent it. Maybe about $2300/month. For sale, it should be priced more than $100,000 less. Would be great for a young couple that plans to never have kids but that is about all.

  • You’ll suffer a case of “SPIRIT SUSPENDED ABOVE YOUR BODY” when you get capped in the next retaliatory drive/bicycle-by . . . .

  • I kind of love it. The interior, anyway. It’s a conversation piece, and for a single person or a couple, I think it’s really cool. Someone said “condo alternative”, like that’s a bad thing. I would take this over anything Donatelli builds, if I lived alone.
    As for the outdoor privacy, yes, it needs serious landscaping. But it could be done.

  • That title makes it sounds terrfiying. You don’t brag that something is “suspended” in a home, especially if that something is an entire room.

  • the whole house is essentially just one room? that’s crazy

  • We have spiral stairs in our house and love it. When we bought the house we thought we would change it, but no. It works great for our contemporary house.

  • I have to admit, I really like it. For a young couple who only needs a 2nd bedroom when family occasionally visit, it could be a good fit for us. However, I’ve looked at the virtual tour for a few days, and the kitchen setup looks really weird. Stove right beside the fridge? And if the sink is in front of that big square window, you’ve gotta be stepping right up to your dirty dishes when you walk through the front door.

    And to live on Rhode Island? Pass. I can’t imagine the noise and general ruckus of living at that intersection. All that said, I wish more places in DC had a little more pizazz. Traditional row house setups get boring.

    • You would have loved this one that recently sold on 10th Street near Lincoln Park. The inside was modern, lofted, and the floors are ceilings were painted completed black. It was wild. The owner was an artist, and every square inch of the place was covered with her crazy paintings. The place sat on the market for months and eventually sold for far less than what it was worth.

  • I don’t like how the front windows were made into slivers instead of regular-sized windows.

    The master bathroom in the bay window area looks enormous… not really a good use of space, but then again the entire house isn’t really making a good use of space.

  • WOOOOOOW! that is a ridiculously crazy place. a ladder to no-where. a picture window onto rhode island ave. a built in live-edge wood table ( or ironing board?). a church pew. a crappy railing. spiral staircase. 4 style s of brick and 7 different mortars. you step UP to go out the back door.textured ceiling. a mirror that you could not possibly stand in front of. a marble tub! god it keeps getting better. but with no curtains in the bathroom? the bedroom has the kind of windows that archers shoot from. and you get to be only 2 feet from a fireplace!

    i walked by here the other day and a realtor was showing it to a couple. i wish i had asked if i could join in. damn. missed opportunity.

  • Also not sure how I feel about the huge window on the side of the house… appears to be easily shattered and entered via the convenient lawn furniture.

  • there is no way I’d want such a big window right at street level; it feels like it’s inviting someone to break in, and there’s no privacy, especially on such a busy corner.

  • Wasn’t there a shooting literally right outside this house just the other day, 8-10 shots fired, two males shot? I would imagine mentioning that little issue would bring down the price a notch.

  • KRAMER: I’m completely changing the configuration of the apartment. You’re not gonna believe it when you see it. A whole new lifestyle.

    JERRY: What are you doing?

    KRAMER: Levels.

    JERRY: Levels?

    KRAMER: Yeah, I’m getting rid of all my furniture. All of it. And I’m going to build these different levels, with steps, and it’ll all be carpeted with a lot of pillows. You know, like ancient Egypt.

    JERRY: You drew up plans for this?

    KRAMER: No, no. It’s all in my head.

    MORTY: I don’t know how you’re going to be comfortable like that.

    KRAMER: Oh, I’ll be comfortable.

  • What is up with the random giant ladder? Is that for when you’re too drunk to use the spiral staircase?

  • Hey PoP, what’s record for GDoN responses? This post has got to be close to it.

    I’ve looked at the virtual tour twice now and it’s not a bad space. The marketing – “alternative to condo living” – is spot on. This is not a place for someone looking for a traditional house. This is a place for someone who wants a house that feels and flows like a multi-level apartment. Will require a buyer with unique sensibilities but someone with a good eye for design could make this space work. If it was on Capitol Hill, there probably wouldn’t be as many negative comments. A bit out there for Shaw.

    • It is interesting, but come on, it’s a hot mess.

      And it would get slammed if it were in Capitol Hill for design (I mean, there’s an unusable hallway/promenade to NOWHERE in this house!) but it wouldn’t get slammed as much at that price point. I hope PoP revists this one.

      • Agreed about the hallway to nowhere. I don’t get the point of that space. Plus, it seems like a logical place for a non spiral staircase.

  • I think if this was on one of those little canal side streets in G’town it would be awesome. On the corner of concrete and shaw I am not so sure I like it at any price.

  • Here’s how you make this house 10x better. I think the most tragic mistake was the current kitchen placement.

    1) Remove indoor steps to the two exits of house. Lower 1st floor doors to accommodate this.

    2) Move kitchen to first floor “den”. Old kitchen is now an OK sized dining room.

    3) Remove the narrow balcony. Fireplace is now two stories high, which would look -so- much better than the Tinkerbell walkway they have now.

    4) Add door to 2nd floor den.

    Bada bing bada boom. Now it’s bearably quirky — some might oo la la over it.

  • Not sure what the big gripe is with the spiral staircase. I see a lot of these in smaller (1000 sq ft) row houses, and they increase the livable space greatly. Thought the comment about the “genius of typical rowhouse layouts” was pretty comical. Frankly, it’s a trade-off.

  • It looks like a multi-story trailer.

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