GDoN? “remarkable custom built-ins” edition

5306 1st Street Northwest

This house is located at 5306 1st Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Renov stone RH w/ ~wow factor~, 0.6 miles to Ft Totten Metro! Incredible architectural details, elegant flr plan, remarkable custom built-ins / cabinetry, skylights, on 4 finished lvls. State of the Art marble & SS Kit, gorgeous DR, LR w/ custom shelving. 2 MBR~s w/ 2 FB~s on 2nd lvl! 3rd lvl BR w/ FB. Finished LL w/ Rec RM w/ FP, Gym, FB, & porcelain flrs. Deck, pergola, +secure parking for 2!”


You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/4.5 bath is going for $649,000.

48 Comment


  • No railings on the stairs?!?

    • That’s the first thing I noticed too! Shudder. And I really don’t like that black and gold bathroom.

    • There is no way it is up to code. Makes you wonder where else they cut corners.

    • west_egg

      I think it was a week or so ago that you overlooked the cable/railing on the stairs in that one flip, which was completely understandable because they were nigh invisible. And now here we have a straight-up deathtrap. You’re pretty good at this!

  • justinbc

    I don’t know enough about that neighborhood to say deal or not, but it definitely seems to have more thought and personality put into it than most other renovations featured here. So kudos for that.

    • The neighborhood has a ways to go and it’s a hike to Ft. Totten Metro, but it’s a short drive to Tacoma Park and all it has to offer.

    • +1. Though I find some of the design choices questionable, I sure can’t say this house is boring! Plus the backyard looks amazing.

    • That’s right near me. Our neighborhood is all over the place, tbh. Probably more important than the relatively easy walk to the Ft. Totten metro is that we’re sitting at the intersection of North Capitol, New Hampshire, and Missouri. So if you have a car it’s easy to get to a whole lot of places. The street this house is on is one of the nice and quiet ones … almost feels like Glover Park or something, but then if you walk a block or two you might start to feel unsafe.

      The east end of Kennedy Street which this is just north of has a ton of potential to be a good retail/dining corridor, but it’s more like 10-year potential than 2-year potential.

  • I am very confused. This house was purchased for $552,300 in 2013. Then they reno’d it and they’re selling it for ~$100k more than that?? Seems like a loss for whoever owns it!
    Like: floors, the doors on the inside of the house, backyard
    HATE: The bathrooms, especially the super dark one (WTF). The other bathroom with the bathtub in that tight space and the bath itself looks super outdated? Same with the medicine cabinet? I guess they didn’t redo that bathroom.

    • I’m hoping the small-looking bathtub is a Japanese-style one (not as long/wide as a typical American bathtub, but super-deep). Hard to tell, though, given the fisheye (?) distortion.

    • justinbc

      To me, this clearly looks like actual-owner financed renovations, rather than a typical flipper job. It’s possible the person bought it, customized it to their liking, and now has to 1) move somewhere else, 2) just doesn’t like the neighborhood, 3) deceased, 4) etc…

      • HaileUnlikely

        Other clue that this was probably an owner-financed reno: zero permits. Even flippers that cheat right and left and violate all sorts of things typically at least get one permit for some trivial thing and slap it up in the window and then proceed to exceed its scope. I don’t know how many “normal” homeowners get permits before interior renovations, or for that matter, have any idea that doing X might technically require a permit.

        • LOL at “Even flippers that cheat right and left and violate all sorts of things typically at least get one permit for some trivial thing and slap it up in the window and then proceed to exceed its scope.” Too true!

          • HaileUnlikely

            Although by the looks of the kitchen I suspect that enough was done that most owners would have some inkling that perhaps they oughtta look into getting a permit, but the DC permit requirements are so goofy that I can’t really blame any normal sane homeowner who isn’t a construction professional or a real estate professional for not knowing when permits are needed for seemingly trivial stuff. When I first bought my house (massively f*ed up foreclosure), I replaced all of the flooring and most of the subfloor. Unbelievably, to the best of my ability to figure out by actually trying to decipher the info on DCRA’s website, a permit was not required for that. Cool. I also added light fixtures to 4 rooms that previously had no light fixtures. Reasoning that electricity can be dangerous and stuff, looked into that, found that I needed an electrical postcard permit, and got one. Later, I replaced a sink and a toilet. Didn’t even occur to me to look into permitting for that – I learned how to install a toilet when I was about 15. I didn’t find out until later that one is technically supposed to get a supplemental plumbing permit–which can only be issued to a master plumber–for that.

  • gertie_wickler

    This house is very near me so I’m hoping it sells for near asking! Also, based on the sales records it’s not a flipped house. Looks like it was purchased in 2010 for $315 and probably renovated by the owner. It went on the market again in 2013 and sold for slightly over asking at $552.

    • gertie_wickler

      PS. I remember seeing the listing for this house in 2013 and it was pretty much the way it is now.

    • Ohhh okay. I didn’t see the $315 in the history I saw. Now it makes more sense.

  • Every one of my neighbors who purchase these beautifully renovated homes are crying the blues because the beautiful exterior hides major issues on the interior.

  • I can’t decide if it’s crazy to like this house. The finishes are kinda crazy but kinda cool, though I have a feeling they could be outdated pretty fast, a la shag carpet and wood paneling. But I actually like the bathrooms and the back yard. And the surprise of that kooky spiral staircase.
    Not sure where that neighborhood is going, but people are going to start looking north as they’re priced out of Petworth. And it has Washington Latin High School, which is growing in popularity

    • That neighborhood is/was considered Petworth. However, I’m recently start seeing “Brightwood Park” which I never heard of until recently. It’s under a mile to Fort Totten and near a bunch of bus lines.

      • It may be the far Eastern edge of Brightwood Park; in the past Brightwood Park was the southern part of Brightwood (still, above Missouri). this is way too far North to be Petworth.

        There’s little that’s “crazy” about the finishes. If this is outre, then it just reflects how conservative DC is, and how lackluster and repetitive the flips are.

      • It’s North Petworth, or NoPe

      • I’m pretty sure it’s Manor Park, which is north of Petworth and south(east) of Brightwood. It hasn’t really shown up in the trendy DC real estate lexicon yet, but there are a lot of lovely old houses with good bones there. Other things going for it – green space, mature tree-lined streets. Residents are aging, which means homes will being emptying out soon…

        • I am pretty sure that this is technically Petworth. Everyone seems to agree that the northern border is kennedy street. But its definitely not manor park.

  • I saw this house when it was for sale in 2013. It’s really been toned down in two years. BUT 2 of the best parts look like they’re in tact. 1) The steampunk bathroom on the 2nd floor. It’s amazing and has a shower that opens into the hallway. Why? Who cares. 2) A window in the floor in the attic. A window to what? The master bathroom below. So you know exactly who is sitting on your toilet Weird. And kinda awesome.

    A little bummed the latest owner got rid of the animal print stair runner. I loved it. 🙁

    • A window in the attic floor?! That is a whole other level of weird!

    • Now animal print stair runner–that’s crazy, not the black bathroom fixtures. The voyeur/peer thing with the bathroom sounds very weird. The stuff other people have notiuced are so tame as to be ludicrous in their “craziness”

    • Tsar of Truxton

      I saw it then as well. The window in the floor to the toilet/shower below was creepy. As was the bathroom in the basement with glass walls (can’t tell if that was changed)…

    • I looked at it, too, back in 2013. LOVED parts of it. Also creeped out by the bathroom skylight-but-really-window-to-the-attic thing, and then weird window on the basement bathroom at the bottom of the stairs.

      The owners who sold in 2013 had done most of the work themselves. (A friend who’s a neighbor filled me in.) They hadn’t finished the basement or the outside area. The current sellers clearly have finished those. I agree that they’ve toned down the house a bit.

      The 2nd floor bathroom was great. The walk-in closet with the laundry chute was also cool.

  • The interior (minus the black and gold bathroom, that’s just weird) is pretty nice, but the exterior is just ugly and out of place. I’d take a pop up twice that size that incorporates the roofline of the neighboring houses over this one.

    • That’s only because you’re not seeing the whole row. Every third or so house has this peaked facade.

  • I probably wouldn’t choose these finishes for myself, but I actually think they work fine and appear to be of better quality than anything you’d find in a flip – at least anywhere near to this price point. There’s a lot in the works around Ft Totten Station, and there are also plans to make the transfer station less of an eyesore, so I think this is probably not a bad buy in the long-term (possibly-overheated local housing market notwithstanding).

  • Does anyone know if that’s real stone on the facade, or is it some kind of Formstone?

    • Can’t be positive, but it’s real stone in most of these houses. They’re many decades old originally.

      • Indeed, these houses were built in the 30’s and the stone is original. The previous owner did the reno himself and then sold the house. It looks like a few small changes were made, but the person who did the renovations planned to live there, so it isn’t some chinzy flip.

  • I noticed the stairs without railings so I looked at the DCRA permitting site, and this house doesn’t seem to have ANY building permits. Even if the owner did the renovations themselves, there should still be permits. Does anyone have a clue about what’s going on here?

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