GDoN? “penthouse deck knocks you-thunderstruck” edition (reader request)

816 8th Street Northeast

This unit is located at 816 8th Street, Northeast. The listing says:

“It’s all been rehearsal up till now, a role-reversal put condos up front, houses back seat, not competing, but soundly beating surrounding homes without eating my wallet or forfeiting space to get a place right off H is for hold on to your breath lest the western view from a penthouse deck knocks you-thunderstruck by top-tier builder, Connell & Schmidt. There’s a difference. Look. Hear it searing?”

Ed. Note: Yes, it’s a Thomas Faison listing.


You can see more photso here.

This 3 bed/2.5 bath is going for $875,000 ($238 monthly fee.)

52 Comment

  • Oh Thomas Faison, I feel like I need boots to read his listings.

  • I was going to say it looked like a routine flip until I saw when it was built. Regardless. Nothing special and a bit high for what it is.

  • Not sure if this is a deal but with the way things are selling im not surprised at the prices. You can find an eintre row house in the neighborhood for this price.

  • I can’t even look at these posts anymore because pot-lights are so bad they make me want to chew my leg off.

    • west_egg

      Really — we don’t like recessed lighting anymore? Between this and the “landing strip” thing in the shower I’m way behind.

      • We never liked recessed lighting ever except in extremely low-ceiling basements where it the only option. Seriously – it is always bad all the time for all situations!

        • What’s the other option? Just one overhead fixture?

        • As opposed to….chandeliers–which need cleaning and get in the way?, floor lamps, which these days seems to be quite flimsy and easy to tip unless you spend a fortune?

    • Yeah – what’s wrong with recessed lighting? I like it.

      • I have recessed lights (they were there when I bought the place) and like them. Much better than my previous place — it had no built-in lighting in the living room or bedroom, so I had to have floor lamps everywhere.

    • Do you mind articulating why pot lights are so bad? To me they seem to be a good solution for lighting up a space while avoiding anything obtrusive on the ceilings. What would you do instead?

      • The general design mantra is can lights create really bright rows of light that contrasts to make the ceiling a dark void, shrinks the space and bringing the ceiling down. Plus, the rows of light don’t always relate to the furniture or generally that nobody designs as rigidly as two rows of round dots, ie an organic-ish homey room will not match.
        I love can lights, though I’d never put one in without a dimmer. I might even use two rows of can lights with a dimmer, but my house is sterile and minimal. They can be used very effectively. lights are just tools.

    • What other lighting would you recommend besides recessed lights? Dont get your hate for recessed lights.

      • Recessed cans are great and have their place, for example, ambient lighting, the problem is when they are the ONLY light in the room. Add some sconces maybe a classy shandaaaleer and it’s all good.
        +100 for AMDCer, where’s the deck pic?!

    • I have to defend Victoria, and answer all your questions about what’s so bad about can lights.

      To channel my inner Blanche DuBois, overhead lighting is dreadful for people’s features, shading the eyes and aging the face.

      According to This Old House, can lights are not the natural lighting of interior spaces. Artificial indoor lighting should mimic the natural light from windows, so it should be limited to sconces and table lamps.

      And then my personal issue with can lights is that they are uglier than sin, and as aesthetically offensive as asphalt. There are some trims that can be used to help mitigate that, but NO ONE uses those.

      • Thanks for the defense, but I think aesthetics are pretty clear on this one. Can lights – except for low-ceiling basements – are a cheap ugly lazy tract-house option that have no place in any civilized home. They:

        1. Make the ceiling an ugly pock-marked mess.
        2. Glare light down in annoying spotlights – (which yes, is unflattering to Blanche and every human!) and makes everyone need a visor.
        3. Good ceiling lamps/chandeliers and beautiful floor lamps are super easy to find, inexpensive and aesthetically superior.

        One should never live with horrible lighting. Or horrible anything! Good home decor has never been easier.

  • And yet no pictures of the deck or purportedly awesome view?? Tease…

  • But, there’s no photo of this view that’s supposed to knock me thunderstruck.

  • For that price? No way.

  • No condo north of H Street is worth 875K, no matter how nice the finishes or how breathtaking the view.

    • Maybe there’s a better view than pictured? I mean you can probably see the Capitol, no? Also, it’s not great, but I also am really jealous.

    • Yep, and the a/c unit is right there. If you run a/c, that roof-top deck will be miserably noisy.

  • I regret to say that I cannot hear it searing.

  • We bought our house from Tom Faison, his listings are always so weird!

  • Looks well done. Do people always prefer a single family home to a condo that is about the same size but without the upkeep?

    • Probably, because even though the condo fee is low, it’s still an added expense that a row house or single family home doesn’t have.

      • I’m guessing you don’t own a home. The costs associated with upkeep on a home are the same as the costs associated with upkeep on a condo conversion that was formerly a home, except they’re spread across more people. So, condo fees are going to be lower than maintenance would have cost if you were the only occupant of the building. The difference is that maintenance costs are not disclosed in real estate listings for people to criticize, while condo fees are spelled out.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Serious question here: how do the owners of one of the two units in a two-unit rowhouse condo go about tapping the funds that they paid into in order to get repairs made? Do the two owners typically have a joint account? Is there a third party involved? I seriously do not know (I own a single family home, have never owned a condo).

          • binpetworth

            I live in a smaller condo building. Condos are set up as LLCs and as such will have a business account at a bank that the fees go into. LLCs report income and expenses annually on their tax forms, Shared, regular expenses (such as trash collection, which would not be needed in a 2-unit building) would likely be on auto-payment, but for larger expenses that affect both units, such as sewage repair, the owners would need to agree/vote on using the reserve funds for that. Usually the insurance with condo buildings is set up so that individual units have their own insurance policies (walls in) but the condo as a whole (exterior) will have insurance under the LLC, and therefore interior repairs are the homeowner’s responsibility unless it has implications for the other units.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Thanks. I’m familiar with how large condos work; wasn’t sure about similarities and differences for a 2-unit condo.

          • I actually live in a weird duplex setup amid a row of rowhouses, so it’s a two-unit HOA. We have a joint checking account and both add cash every month, which pays for the water bill and other common expenses, but it’s a very informal process for agreeing on what needs to be fixed. The other owner is absentee, so it can be difficult getting him to move on anything. In three years, we’ve managed to get two oversized trees removed and are THIS CLOSE to getting our shared back deck repaired. Apparently he and the previous owner of our unit weren’t even funding the account and threw in $1,000 each before we closed so there’d be some cash in there. Again, informal.

        • We upgraded from our condo last year and bought a rowhome in Petworth (with recessed lights! with dimmers!) I don’t think people always prefer a single family home, but for us putting more in savings for maintenance/upkeep that will sit around for a bit gaining interest gives us a warm fuzzy, rather than our condo fee that just made us sad.

        • Also, for us buying a home instead of a condo made more sense for us because we saw it more as an investment than a condo. Condo’s can be difficult to rent out, and hopefully our home will increase in value faster than a condo.

      • Um, who do you think takes care of the upkeep in a condo? You do. The condo fee isn’t lost, it goes to cover building expenses. The upside is you get to share the cost with other units. The downside is that you can’t just go ahead and fix things, you have to get a percentage of the other owners to agree. The other downside is that the low condo fee on a new condo is not enough to cover repairs – it is usually just barely enough to cover the operating costs (like water and sewer, etc.)

  • That price seems a little aspirational.

  • Reading that made me angry.

  • It looks alright but definitely seems overpriced. For the size, I’d want a larger living/dining room, and I Don’t like the slopping roof being in the master bedroom. Also, given the references to the view from the roof deck, you’d expect at least a photo of the deck, if not the view itself!

    For just under $900,000, I think there are much better homes out there.

  • If it’s been on the market for almost 30 days in this market, it’s overpriced. Bad deal.

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