GDoN? “Taste and Quality speaks” edition

1326 Trinidad Avenue Northeast

This house is located at 1326 Trinidad Avenue, Northeast. The listing says:

“ATEL Development did it again! Taste and Quality speaks, No Detail left out. Get all you wish for: Large Modern Kitchen w/SS, quartz countertops; Sleek Baths w/porcelain tile; New Systems. Hardwood, Tray ceilings, Crown molding. Legal heights in the Basmt + 2nd Kitchen and Bdr/Bath suite. Think extra income! Deck & secured parking. Walk to trendy H street, New Whole Foods and Giant. Must See!”

You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is listed at $648,500.

84 Comment

  • Um, it’s purple.

  • clevelanddave

    It spoke. It was actually a scream, as taste and quality ran away as fast as possible from this purple monstrosity…

  • justinbc

    I really wish these agents / developers / flippers would quit with the “Done it again!” nonsense that so many listings have. 1) We don’t know WhoTF you are 2) it’s not like you cured cancer or something, you just made a house look slightly nicer 3) that’s kind of your job description, why are you so excited that you’ve done what you were hired to do.

    • It’s rare, but sometimes Justin you are so spot on.

    • 1) Because it gets the developer’s name out there, 2) because it’s a way for the agent to make their client (the developer) happy with that type of free advertising, and 3) because “Here is another slightly improved home for sale…” doesn’t sound exciting and doesn’t help sell the house.

      • That is a fantasy. Nobody case about the developer’s name. If possible they would prefer to pretend their house wasn’t a flip. Honestly I think a lot of buyers will look at the “ATEL Development did it again” statement and move on to the next house without looking. It’s just tacky.

    • Because it’s not grey?

      • epric002

        maybe it looked gray in the can? or perhaps purple is the new gray? 😉

        • jim_ed

          You know, we (in the collective sense) bitch about flipper grey all the time, but then someone paints the flip next door to your own house a color that can only be described as “I ate too many bran muffins Brown”, or the above “Don Johnson Purple”, and grey doesn’t seem so bad.

          • justinbc

            I really won’t bemoan anyone who puts forth a genuine effort. It’s their (the prospective buyer’s) house, not mine. The grey on grey on grey schemes just bore me, this is more like an “it’s not my favorite” feeling.

          • justinbc

            Then again, we almost bought a purple house (903 G St SE), and it was a similar light hue. It wouldn’t stand out as much if the ones around it were painted as well, rather than just plain brick.

          • saf

            See, I always see flipper yellow in this neighborhood.

    • I am from New Orleans so non traditional colors don’t bother me much but sometimes trim work and detailing can make the difference. My aunt’s house in New Orleans is a shade of purple (not one of the too pastel hues) and the trim is white but the door is black or dark green and it doesn’t look twee or like an Easter egg. If I bought this house the firm thing I would do is pick a dark color for the door and repaint the ceiling of the porch.

  • Anyone know what kind of wood those floors are? I like them better than the standard oak plank you see in a lot of flips.

    • justinbc

      The one in the kitchen looks like the porcelain that’s made to look like wood, it’s become quite popular in the 3 years or so. The other throughout the living / bed rooms I can’t tell, just looks like an extra wide board.

      • The imitation wood tile is the WORST. We put it in a commercial property, on the advice of the designer, and we absolutely loathe it. The “grain” gathers and holds on to crud, such that the only way to get it really clean is on hands and knees with a scrub brush.
        As for the cabinets, do we think they were going for a pickled look? I quite like that usually, and it’s the furthest thing from trendy, but these look like a laminate imitation of pickling. Weird.

        • justinbc

          Good to know, I had actually considered using some of those wood tiles in a bathroom renovation we’re doing, since I want the look of wood in there but not the durability issues that you would get with water exposure.

          • Assume you know about Wetwall? We visited several different friends in Europe this summer, and it seems to be the higher-end standard for bathroom renovations.

          • justinbc

            Nope, haven’t heard of it. Bookmarked to check out later. Quick perusal didn’t show a wood floor design though…

          • Just looked up wetwall. I’m sure installation and maintenance are cheaper than tile, but man does it look terrible.

  • jim_ed

    The interior somehow looks out of date already. And that formstone-ish front porch tiling? Blech. Also, I’ll never be able to wrap my mind around $650,000 to live in Trinidad.

    • Yeah those cupboards aren’t going to look like such a good idea in a few years. And the outside looks like a cruise ship. Disagree about the location though. It’s gritty, but a few blocks from H Street and Union Market? That means a lot of amenities now and even more in the future.

      • those cupboards are ikea, which are incredibly easy to switch out to a new design when the day comes.

        • You’d still have to go to the trouble of selecting, purchasing, and installing new cabinet doors. If the developer hadn’t chosen such taste-specific ones, it wouldn’t be an issue.
          And in a few months, swapping out IKEA cabinet doors won’t be possible — IKEA is switching (effective Feb. 2015) from the current AKURUM kitchen system to a new system called SEKTION, and the two aren’t compatible.

    • justinbc

      You mean on the floor of the porch? Trinidad is pretty notorious for those astroturf lined front porches, so at least it’s an upgrade? I think?

    • I also think it’s insane that people pay these prices in Trinidad. It is still DEEP ‘hood and that isn’t changing anytime soon. Carver Langston is your backyard.
      I know plenty of dumb sheltered people from VA who go into Shaw or Columbia Heights and say “OMG it’s so unsafe and sketchy.” Meh, whatever. But Trinidad is a whole other level. Anyone paying anything over $650K is making a loooooooooong bet on the neighborhood. Longer than you’ll feel safe to raise your aging kids in that area.

      • justinbc

        Just for statistical analysis, this specific property had about half the crime around it in the last year as the neighborhood around the Columbia Heights Target. (both measured within 1,500 feet from the address year over year)

        • Is that comparing raw numbers or per capita rates? I’d wager the population density around DC USA is much greater than at this address, not to mention you’re comparing a commercial location (with all the attendant petty larceny) with a residential address.

          • justinbc

            It’s comparing “Columbia Heights” to “Trinidad”, which is all the data the previous poster gave me to go on. If you do a similar comparison around Room 11 the numbers are more favorable for CH, but the point is that making blanket statements like the above are somewhat disingenuous, or at the very least ignorant.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Almost the same number of violent crimes though. Past 365 days, within 1500 ft of property, this house 92, Columbia Heights Target 94 ( On a semi-related note, maybe an ok deal for somebody who drives most places, but I really do not relish the prospect of walking from the metro to this house after dark.

        • You can juke the crime stats any way you want. But comparing a busy neighborhood with retail and a major transit site (metro & bus) to a residential neighborhood is not a great comparison.

          I share the bias towards Trinidad as a result of the crazy shootings a few summers back (complete with cops setting up checkpoints). I have no idea how much it may or may not have improved since.

          • Do you realize those shootings. Were outsiders coming. Into the neighborhood? And the check points were to prevent/intercept individuals based on Intel they had?

    • It might sell immediately, but I’ll take the over on $595k if anyone wants to place a wager. Trinidad isn’t the blight it was a few years ago. I encourage everyone to continue hating neighborhoods that aren’t theirs. Now for the obligatory comment to lower the maturity of the thread–you look out of date already.

  • They did a nice job landscaping the back yard

  • Flipped garbage.

  • no mi gusto….

  • Why did they replace everything BUT the shower tile in the basement bathroom?! Also, purple.

  • Painted steps & walks look great – for about 6 months. I’ve never seen one go more than a year without peeling.

  • I do not get the hardwood floors in the living room and the cabinets in the kitchen. It just looks weird. I hate them both together, and frankly think individually the choices for the floors and cabinets are both terrible.

    And I’m sorry, but I’d take gray over that purple mess any day. “Hi, yes Uber drive, I’m in the purple house. No, I’m not crazy, I said purple. Yes, purple. Like Barney.”

    Seems a tad high for Trinidad too.

    • Ugh I agree on all fronts. That flooring is absolutely hideous with those cabinets (not to mention I strongly dislike them both on their own). They claim the flooring is hardwood, but it looks fake to me (I’m not talking about the tile in the kitchen). Everything about this is just off and lacks any kind of taste. The weird modern metal railing out front, the formstone porches, the awful purple color. Just yuck. Also I think the price is pretty ambitious for this area for now.

  • And all of these comments complaining about purple is why every flipper paints the houses gray/tan. Which everyone then complains have no color.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I like the cabinets in the kitchen, but not for this place. Too many other patterns competing with it. If they hadn’t opened up the whole first floor it could have worked.

  • Eh, I don’t mind the purple (at least it’s different) but that kitchen is fugly

  • I don’t mind the purple either (it’s light enough). However, as others have stated the kitchen cabinets are terrible and the wood floors are weird? I like the color, but they look like they bleed together or something? I don’t know…never seen anything like that in a house. The price also seems way too high.

    • I am so glad at least a couple of you like purple. I am getting ready to put my house on the market and it is painted purple/gray that is more purple than gray but looked more gray than purple in the can. I thought it wouldn’t be such a big deal but now…..

  • My first thought on the listing: This is how Not To capitalize A sentence! However it’s evident that they exercised some restraint with the exclamation points. Kudos!

  • I just noticed the last line. I don’t think you’ll be “walking” to Whole Foods or Giant from this location…

  • Those stairs! Who does that??

    I’m pro-purple.

  • I actually like the color and (aside from the kitchen cabinets) the flip job in general. And i think people are commenting on the price just because it seems high against the comps, not just because Trinidad is perceived as more sketchy than shaw/Columbia Heights/Bloomingdale.

  • Too many different patterns and textures practically on top of one another.

  • Question for popville:

    Can anyone explain why so many flippers paint otherwise fine brick facades? Most people like brick better and paint increases future maintenance costs since you constantly have to repaint. In the long run it also degrades the brick and may cause moisture problems since any moisture in the brick now can only escape to the inside.

    Do some people like it? Does it just help the house stick out? It seems like such a poor decision to me and most people I’ve spoken to share this view.

    • Our front is currently not painted and we’ve debated whether we’ll paint it or not. Annoyingly, the back of ours is already painted, but I guess we could always re-brick it–I know that will be expensive though. I thought a lot of people actually liked the painted look, but maybe I am wrong. I agree it increases maintenance costs though.

      • It’s relatively cheap/easy to remove existing paint from brick, thought you may find that you need to repoint the existing brick which may end up costing $$$.

        • “It’s relatively cheap/easy to remove existing paint from brick” — Really? I had the impression that once you’d painted brick, you were pretty much stuck with it forever (and with repainting at intervals of ~10 years).
          Wouldn’t you have to sandblast to get paint off the brick?

          • There are gels you can apply to the brick, let sit for a bit, and then wash off. Granted, may not be the friendliest process environmentally.

          • Paint on brick lasts a lot longer than you might expect. I’ve had my house for over ten years. When I bought it the paint had clearly been on it for quite a while, and it is pretty much in the same shape today as it was a decade ago.

            That said, I removed the paint on one section and it was a TON of work. It’s not “relatively easy”. It took numerous coats of stripper, hours and hours of chipping away with chisels, and several sessions with a pressure washer to get it off.

    • A lot of times, the exterior brick needs point work. You can do your best to match the existing mortar, but it rarely works out. So, your options are to repoint the entire front of the house, or just cover up the entire facade with paint.

      • Jesus that’s terrifying. Are you saying builders just slap new cement mortar on the facade, then cover it up with paint?

        Older houses use lime and sand mortar. Cement and lime mortars will expand and contract at different rates. Houses that have partially fixed with new cement mortar will crumble as the two kinds of mortar expand and contract differently and quickly separate. The mortar will eventually need to be completely repointed; indeed once this is done you may never be able to rid yourself of the problem and will end up fixing the brick at regular intervals.

        Unpainted brick can be easily repaired, but you need to take the time and spend the money to match the original mortar mix.

        • Having recently repointed -I will say paint on brick is always bad and costly. It’s like wrapping your building in plastic wrap – rain slips through and gets caught – it seeps through the mortar, cracks etc. Just don’t do it.

    • The idea with painting a previously unpainted brick house seems to be to convey “fresh, new.” I don’t mind painted brick houses in neighborhoods that already have lots of them, but it always seems to me to be kind of a jerk move when a developer flips and paints a brick house on a previously all-unpainted block.

    • justinbc

      “Do some people like it?”
      Well, obviously yes, otherwise the house painting business in DC would be virtually nonexistent since almost all of them are made of brick. Drive through almost any large neighborhood (Capitol Hill, Dupont, Georgetown, etc) and you’ll see a whole rainbow of colors. As for why flippers do it, my guess would be that it makes it stand out among the other drab facades, either faded paint on older jobs or deteriorating brick. Paint can hide imperfections that save flippers from doing a thorough work to improve the brickwork before reselling.

      • There’s a big difference between historically painted houses (e.g. Dupont, Georgtetown, etc.) and painted houses in neighborhoods that are primarily exposed brick (e.g. most of Petworth, parts of Columbia Heights, parts of Trinidad). When all the other houses on the block are brick it just looks bad. It also means the developer either (a) is hiding something or (b) has terrible taste and judgement. Neither makes me want to buy the house.

        I’m just saying that I’ve never ever heard a single person say “wow, I’m sure glad the flipper painted the house I just got for me.”

  • Okay, now this feels a little like piling on, but I also really have the second floor front porches. When nobody else on the block has one are you really going to sit up there and look down at everyone? It’s so exposed and when only one house on the block the porch it’s a strange dynamic.

    Also, in my experience painted house are basically an invitation for robbers who know the house has just been flipped and is filled with expensive electronics.

    • “[W]hen only one house on the block [has] the porch it’s a strange dynamic.” — I think this holds true for lots of things, like if it’s the only painted house on the block.

      • This happened on my block (porch and paint) and the strangeness was temporary. It was just the strangeness of newness.

    • justinbc

      In a transitioning neighborhood, someone’s got to be first. I’m sure others will come along, and we don’t know if there are others on the block that already are, since all we can see is the two adjacent homes. As for the porch, it depends. If it’s right off the master bedroom then it’s totally feasible you would go out there after waking up for a coffee or something (if you have a machine in your bedroom, like many people do), rather than walking downstairs to the kitchen and then out front. It also has a bit more privacy, which some people want…fewer mosquitoes too.

      • “(if you have a machine in your bedroom, like many people do)”
        “Many” people have a coffee machine in their bedroom? Are you counting hotels?

  • saf

    Bad taste perhaps.

  • The house was bought on 7/29/14 for $409,000. Is this worth $250,000 in upgrades to you? I think not. Curious as to getting comps for the appraisal when someone applies for a loan. I would buy the house for the pre-flip price and make it the home I want over the next few years – but not a flippers version of a home for $250,000 surcharge.

    • “I would buy the house for the pre-flip price” — The problem is that unless you have $409K (or whatever the purchase price would be) in cash, a developer is likely to beat you out with an all-cash offer.

  • The lavender didn’t look quite so bad on my laptop yesterday, but now that I’m looking at it on a (larger) monitor, I see why people felt so negatively.
    Also, I’m just now noticing that the porch ceiling is ALSO painted lavender, and has these weird bars of white across it. Looks terrible.

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