GDoN? “Renovated by 2 award winning eco designers” edition

Exterior (Front) -

This house is located at 4416 14th Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Renovated by 2 award winning eco designers, 3129 SF home w/ 4br 3.5ba. Modern details yet keeps historic charm of the 1914 Wardman. Custom details, Kitchen cabs w/ built-in APLs, HW floors, skylights, fireplace, Laundry rm, off st pkg,~ ~Master Suite has walk in shower w/ 4 rain heads, & lg dressing rm~, & finished bsmt. ~~Designed to be a home, not a flip. This masterpiece is sure to impress!”

Living Room -

You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $1,349,000.

61 Comment

  • The house is gorgeous, but a bit to modern to me, and I usually like cleaner, more modern design. It is also large, but it still seems like too high a price for that location. I would think high $900s would be more reasonable.

  • Anonomnom

    So, the price seems a stretch. Obviously, they put a lot of money into the renovation, but still for that far north on 14th, I think its on the high side.
    I liked a lot of features, and I thought the wood for the cabinets/sliding doors was very interesting, though I must just not be the aim for these designers. The whole thing seemed a bit cavernous to me, and very lacking in whatever charm this 100 year old house might have originally had. That said, I am sure it is absolutely gorgeous to someone with different tastes.

  • justinbc

    Especially love the paint job, the staircase, open shower wall, and those wood grain kitchen cabinets. There is definitely a great deal of detail here that you do not see in most remodels. I have no idea if they can get that price that far up 14th St, but certainly wish them well with it.

    • Seriously!
      that staircase is awesome
      the open shower looks great too but im really liking how the staircase looks from the first floor

      • justinbc

        Yeah we’re about to redo ours and I’m trying to think of ways I can steal some of this design…

        • Im assuming you’ve thought about the floors as well? ie being able to match the existing etc if you move/relocate the stairs?

        • it dosent appear to bee to crazy now that i actually look at the detail
          i think what gives it the effect it has is the fact that ALL of the wood matches
          the stairs, railings, and balusters all match the detailed wood on the first floor wall which is accented by the brick and stark contrast of the white walls
          makes it appear as one solid unit imo

  • All that money spent on high-end finishes and they put in a timber retaining wall out front?! That’s actually a red flag for me at this price.

  • I’m not sure what “eco designers” are but this house doesn’t exactly look like a home base for a green life. I guess the extra $400k is so that you can feel good bussing your kids across town to a decent school in your Yukon.

  • Wow, now that’s a sexy house. Very -very well staged. Dare I look at the price? Wonk, wonk. But one can dream, can’t one?

  • HaileUnlikely

    Having lived close to this for my first 10 years in DC, it blows my mind to see something on this stretch of 14th on the Wednesday edition of GDoN. This is really, really nice, and I love the location. I want it. I generally dislike recessed lights, but I can get over that and still want it.
    Having said that, the price is just plain goofy. Last sold in 2011 for $469K. I don’t think general increase in value in this area plus value added through the reno add up to anything like an additional $880K. Pics of house as purchased in 2011 for $469K available here: Now that was a good deal.

    • Anonomnom

      Really interesting to see the before and after, thanks for sharing the link!

    • HaileUnlikely

      Actually, do not want. See below RE permits. Still like, but do not want.

    • justinbc

      Looks like some really solid old bones in the before photos.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Bigtime. I wish I had had the money to buy it in its previous state for $469K back in 2011.

        • I prefer the “before” house – the “after” version just leaves me cold.
          Particularly the kitchen cabinets (that also surround the refrigerator and show up again in the basement, the lighting, the flooring, the staircase…
          I’d say not a good deal because of the price, but also because I dislike the way the house was renovated

  • I take the back patio…..Everything else is just blah.. Seems like a lot of wasted space in front the the staircase where they have that chaise at. any piece of furniture there will seem awkward.

    • Wait, you’re actually bemoaning there’s too much space in a house in DC? Seriously? The chaise is odd staging to me, I agree, but that’s staging. There are plenty of pieces of furniture that would fit nicely in that space and make sense. A formal dining table – long with chairs that starts there and stretches to the back of the house. A smaller sofa facing the front of the house/living room.

      Really, what a strange complaint.

      • justinbc

        Won’t someone please get rid of all the square footage for me?!

      • Yes I am. I actually have the same issue in my home. I have a huge wasted space between my living room and formal dining area- that I’ve tried numerous furniture pieces to tie the two together and nothing works. So I’ve settled for funky chairs and a console table, but still not all the way happy with it. But my home is 60ft deep so I’m not hurting for space at all.

  • I wish people would stop knocking down perfectly good walls. Do people really enjoy living in places where you can see/hear everything everyone else is doing on the main floor or does it just impress people when they do a viewing?

    • Agreed. I get the impression that people don’t think about what it’s going to be like on a day-to-day basis, they just spend 30 minutes visiting the place and thinking “ooh, light!”
      That open shower is another bad idea. Again, it looks cool, but the reality is that with nothing to hold in the steam, you’ll never take a truly warm shower. I used to stay in a place with one. I could have the water hot enough to turn me red, and still get goosebumps on any part of my nekkid self that wasn’t actively getting lobstered.

    • Completely agree. I get the open concept might be “sexy” and maybe good for entertaining, but I really prefer separate spaces. Makes the house feel bigger to me and provides distinct spaces to hang out in.

      • justinbc

        I am a huge proponent of actual rooms, with proper walls, but I think this house is an exception where what they’ve done actually makes sense and it’s not a full on bowling alley type like many others. The staircase helps break up the flow (we’re doing something similar in ours to help eliminate the openness) and they tucked most of the kitchen behind a wall as well to delineate the spaces.

        • See that’s where I disagree. I actually like the staircase a lot- I just wished it was on the other side of the house because it now creates this awkward flow/furniture positioning between the living room and the open space. One poster mentioned a dining table- but then who wants to be sitting at the dining table when someone is using the power room right there.

          • I don’t disagree…but the powder room is going to be close to a dining room in this house regardless. Personally I’d have had the powder room entrance into the kitchen in the back and not the living room in the front for that very reason. Since the kitchen is already divided off, presumably you’re just cooking back there and not eating, so it isn’t as “offensive” to have a bathroom there.

            I guess I prefer fewer walls in a house like this for the light (a dining room in the center of this house would have zero natural light). And for a party, I’d prefer the bigger open space.

            That said, I agree that open concept spaces work better in wider modern homes than a rowhome.

  • Whoa…

    I don’t know if the listing realtor is throwing something at the wall to see what sticks, or has no idea what a “comp” is but that is significantly overpriced at $562/ sf

    The house directly adjacent (4414) just sold in late February for $915K, and it was completely (and nicely by the photos) gutted as well. It started out at 997K, spent two months on the market and sold for 915K, or $430/sf

    Even in the hyper housing market of DC, this house is a good $90-100/sf overpriced (~250K). If someone is silly enough to buy it for that much, they are setting the comp by quite a margin and will own it for quite some time without appreciation.

    Pure silllyness

    • This house is gorgeous. Plain and simple. A basement that doesn’t feel like a basement. Everything is very well done. I don’t know if that kitchen style will stand the test of time. I’m iffy on the style of the lower cabinets, but no doubt it is unique and interesting.

      I will say for all the modern touches everything, the staircase, which itself is beautiful and so atypical for DC rowhomes (more like the tony Baltimore Bolton Hill homes really), seems traditional compared to the rest of the house. I would have thought a floating or glass staircase would seem more in line with the rest of the house. And I don’t love the outdoor space truthfully. I would prefer a larger deck, and then a full grass back yard. For that price point, I’d really want more outdoor space.

      Gorgeous though. A really well done twist on typical DC renovations.

      • Also looking through the photos again, there are so few windows on the back of the house. Strange. I would want a lot more glass and light.

      • The basement still looks like a basement to me. Nice and with lots of lights, but definitely still a basement. The details seem nice, and I love the stairs, but the price is simply just too high for that location. And you never know the quality of the finishings and such until you get in there.

      • Sure, it is nice, but so is the one it shares a party wall with that was just gutted and sold a few months ago for literally 30% less per sf. You might be able to justify a little here, or there (the kitchen appliances are nicer, the hardwood is unique, but none of those add up to $312K price difference in just a few months.

        I’m not saying someon won’t buy it, as we’ve seen people have been throwing down some serious coin to buy places where no comp can support it, I am just saying that by any usable metric of residential real estate, this place is significantly over priced, and it will be hard to justify any appraisal when the house that it literally shares a wall with, sold so recently for so much less.

      • justinbc

        Yeah I really don’t care for that back yard, it’s my least favorite part of the house. I’m guessing they had to build the staircase the way they did to absorb some of the weight from the walls that were removed.

    • justinbc

      “without appreciation”
      I think you have to remember that for many people this is not a concern. If they see the house they fall in love with then what it might sell for 5-10 years from now is irrelevant. I also think it’s overpriced, but that’s just because it’s out of my league. If I were making $1.5M house money then I wouldn’t flinch quite as much (although if I were going to spend that kind of money it wouldn’t be in this location). To me the style of the place is unique enough that I can see the right buyer jumping on it. There’s a sucker born every minute, after all. Let’s hope this property gets a “revisited” posting.

  • HaileUnlikely

    One of the strangest lists of permits I’ve ever seen. Not 1, not 2, not 3, but 11 (eleven) postcard permits for various things, most of which homeowners and developers alike blow off permits for (e.g., “Replacement or repair of not more than 10 existing outlets and not more than 10 existing lighting fixtures for a residential, commercial or industrial project” – this is probably like the 3rd time in the history of DCRA that somebody has requested that particular postcard permit), yet zero permits for plumbing, mechanical, more serious electrical, removal of load bearing elements (maybe they didn’t but I’d bet they did), or for that matter, anything that couldn’t be done with a postcard permit. Call me skeptical, but for $1.35M, I want to know what else they did and blew off the permits for.

    • I went to he open house, the homeowners did the work over the last 5-6 years.

      • HaileUnlikely

        That’s what I figured, given that the present owner bought it in 2011. I do note, however, that they got all of them postcard permits on February 8 of this year, i.e., well after the fact, thus seemingly for the purpose of giving the appearance of having done everything above board.
        They did a lot of impressive stuff, and appear to have done it quite nicely, no question there, but big stuff with no real permits (and consequently no inspection) still makes me nervous. At a minimum a supplemental plumbing permit was in order given that pics of the house at previous and current sale show clearly that they significantly changed the locations of bathroom fixtures (technically you’re supposed to get a permit to replace even a single fixture but I’m willing to give a normal homeowner who needs to replace a sink or a toilet a pass on that one.)
        And I am still kind of amused that they got the postcard permit for replacing outlets and light fixtures – I’ve admittedly replaced lots of outlets and fixtures on my own home and didn’t get this postcard permit (arguably could fall under the “routine maintenance” exception when done 1 or 2 at a time and not as a part of a whole-house renovation project), but I still got the permits for big significant stuff even when doing it myself.
        In the end none of that matters, as I’m not even within a multiple of 3 of being able to afford it, and I’m sure they’ll find a buyer (after a price reduction or two unrelated to the permit shenanigans) who will not care and still buy.

  • I live around the corner from this house on Webster, and the house next to me, which has to be completely gutted, just sold for $630K-ish.

    For some reason, I find the complete evisceration of all character in this house–save the stairs—at odds with the term “eco design,” but I suppose you can destroy the interior and replace it with a hideous open floor plan in an eco sort of way.

    However, maybe the buyers can join the rest of us who call and complain to no avail every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night about the very loud music emanating from El Don just across the street, complete with drunk noisy patrons spilling out at 4 a.m.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Why do you say that house (assume you mean 1510) has to be completely gutted? Ignoring the basement for now (which I’m happy to do – I have an unfinished basement), I think replacing carpet with hardwood, replacing a couple of hideous light fixtures, and painting as you please would make that house quite nice.

      • The house I’m referring to is 1412. I’ve been inside many times. The woman who owned it bought it in 1955. She died in 2013 at the age of 95, and her family fought over it for more than a year. I was sorry to see them go because they were nice neighbors who welcomed me and made me feel just a tad safer because they were always there.

        However, the roof must be replaced, and the floors are in pretty bad shape. It’ll be a great house, but I just wish they wouldn’t tear out the walls. I met the developer, and that’s what he said he would do. He also said that he would leave the stairs intact, and they’re pretty awesome just like the ones in this GDoN.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Oh, ok, haven’t seen that one, thought you meant a different house. Although I would not have been surprised if a developer were to have bought 1510 and gutted it (and for all I know one might have), it would have struck me as unnecessary and wasteful. From what you say about 1412, it sounds like it needed its floors and roof repaired or replaced, which can be and routinely is done without gutting a house, though perhaps it was in worse all-around shape than you conveyed here.

          • We’re the new owners of the 1510 Webster property, and I wish we could get away with just minor fixes. We are not developers, and yes, it is a full gut job. Everything had to go: electric, plumbing, HVAC. There were structural issues all over the house along with water damage. It’s been our project for the past 7 months, as we are trying to do things in stages. We’re hoping to move in by the end of this summer.

            I think what these guys did at 4416 14th Street is absolutely stunning. Maybe not my taste exactly, but still, it’s gorgeous.

  • I want that shower.

    • The shower heads are nice but low. I’m 6 ft and my head was nearly touching the shower head when i stood under them. Odd b/c they had room to move them higher.

    • I just don’t get rain showers at all. It pours on your head all the time. With a regular shower head you can have your head out of the water when you want to.

  • You couldn’t pay me to live in a house with a kitchen that atrociously ugly.

  • $1.35 million, but the neighborhood shootings and vinyl siding are thrown in for free.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Not sure what neighborhood shootings you speak of. I can think of one (1) not too far from this house in or about 2010, none since.

    • yeah, it’s not a real shooty neighborhood. Actually, not much scary stuff at all. And Upshur Pool is practically across the street.

  • Oh Haile, sad that you posted the before photos. Why would they remove those gorgeous fireplaces with beautiful wood and tiles in the living room and dining room? Who does that to an old house?
    The staircase, if you look at the before photos, is the original one, just painted (or stained?) and the wall between it and the living room mostly removed. It IS a great staircase. Though it now looks unsafe with no wall or railing between it and the living room – I very much doubt that it meets code.
    Because of the destruction of the fireplaces with character, and the following stuff that flippers do, which just don’t look good in old houses, I still call it a flipper house, even done over time by the owners, as they seem to be going for that lose-the-character flipper aesthetic.

    1. The ugly sea of recessed lights.
    2. Lots of ugly exposed brick.
    3. Replacing nice old floorboards with ugly mottled-colored now ones.
    4. Painting the brick exterior – why do flippers always do this? Brick breathes and is largely maintenance-free (until pointing the bricks needs to be done) – so why paint it?
    5. Removing walls where they are useful and needed (like next to the staircase, where you now can easily fall into the living room.)

  • If you have that kind of coin to play with for a rowhouse, you’d be nuts to spend it at that location. Not even walking distance to a metro and with very little in the way of decent retail nearby. You’d wait ages to make any money off of it if you pay anything close to asking.

    Aesthetically it’s unique and spacious and tasteful for a modern reno, but I so much prefer the walls, transom windows, and old-school moldings in a more classic look. I just don’t get the whole open concept fad.

    I’d also bet that all that eco-friendly stuff is more expensive to maintain, though I could be wrong about that.

    • Actually, it’s a 15-minute walk to Petworth and a 20-minute walk to CH. And the 14th St bus is right out front and runs all the time.

      • A 15-20 minute walk is pushing the outer limits of walkable. Try walking it January. I live in 16th at heights and am aware of the bus. I didn’t say it wasn’t doable — but for that price I’d want it to be spitting distance from a train.

  • I actually went and saw it last weekend during the openhouse and the details are really amazing. The realtor said the the house next door went for 950k six months ago and there really aren’t comps in this area for that size and detail so he priced his comps on other neighborhoods. I agree though at 1.3 it’s pricey and out of my league but definitely a really cool house if you get the chance to check it out in person.

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