GDoN “As Bungalow as it gets!” edition

5612 33rd Street Northwest

This house is located at 5612 33rd Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“As Bungalow as it gets! 1920’s Sears Walton model will pull at your heartstrings from the moment you step on the wide and wonderful front porch. Nice high ceilings, big windows and period detailing set the tone throughout. Practical features include a 1.5 car garage and a unique mud-room off the kitchen. The garden and rear patio provide a quiet escape all just a block to Lafayette ES and Park”


You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/1 bath is going for $849,000.

24 Comment

  • This is a good deal. I can just see the person who bought a 1M pool ready (i.e. no pool) house in Brookland looking at this and thinking “wow, how could I have been such a moron?”

  • I love — LOVE — Sears homes. This one is beautiful. I will never be able to wrap my head around being able to afford a $3,200 mortgage, though.

    • I don’t think they work too well in places like DC where the land is so expensive. You need to build up to get enough square footage for it to seem worth it.

      • They were popular in places with good rail access (that’s how they arrived), no or poor building codes (you knew you were getting a decent standard), and/or Sears distribution facilities. Atlanta had all 3, so there are tons of them there. They came in many different sizes, but most were 1200-1800 sf. Chicago, Sears home base, has brick bungalows, because fireproof construction was required after the fire. Land costs probably dictated rowhouses as the vernacular housing here, but Craftsmans could be built on tiny lots. I had about an eighth of an acre.

    • Those estimates are always substantially low anyway. They assume 20% down and don’t include taxes or insurance.

  • Well, it’s beautiful, but technically I think it’s a 2 bedroom, since you have to access one of those upper bedrooms through the other bedroom. Also only one bathroom? Yikes…

  • Anonomnom

    Omg, that porch is gorgeous. A bit small for the price tag, but a really nice neighborhood.

  • This is very very cute. But I don’t think it is a good deal. It presents well, but only has one bathroom (problematic for most families) and the kitchen is oddly configured, outdated and would probably require a gut renovation. To really get this house where it needs to be I think you’d end up investing upwards of 950k and I don’t think a house of this size is worth that kind of money.

    • HaileUnlikely

      It blows my mind that somebody would think that this kitchen “requires” a gut renovation. I might prefer a few things different but think I could figure out how to get along ok with what’s there. I agree that this is probably priced too high given only one bathroom, though.

      • +1 to “It blows my mind that somebody would think that this kitchen ‘requires’ a gut renovation.”

        • I don’t think that it *requires* a gut renovation. Definitely appears to be perfectly functional and ready to use at move-in. But dropping that kind of coin…I guess I’d just expect a better (for lack of better word) kitchen.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I basically agree, but suspect that in this area people are really buying the neighborhood (relatively tranquil, low crime, good schools, etc) as much as or more than they’re buying the house, and this is probably on the low end for asking prices in that neighborhood. The only other house in this area for under a million (same size as this, $835K) has zero interior photos and the verbiage in the listing implies that it is in very bad condition. The target buyer for this house is probably trying to decide whether to move to here or Bethesda or Fairfax and would be trading off the cost of this plus renovations versus $1M+ for houses that already have all that they want in the neighborhoods that they want.

    • Sears model homes are highly sought after. Anyone who would buy one wouldn’t gut renovate one unless it really truly needed it (like it was a total rundown).

    • By gut renovation (perhaps an overstatement), I meant specifically the kitchen. Personally, for a house at this price point I would want a kitchen that is more practical (i.e. more counter space, and cabinet space) which would mean new cabinets, counter tops, and likely removing a wall somewhere because the current footprint wouldn’t lend itself to any of that.

    • Gut Reno?

      Absurd. But when I sell I will be sure to slap on some marble to lure in the suckers.

  • Was there a picture of the “unique mudroom?” I’m dying to know whats so unique about it. And glad to see someone finally figured out how practical the need is for a garage that is appropriately sized for 1/2 a car ….

    • Yeah, I think you can see it in the last few pictures of the patio… there’s a small room enclosed entirely in glass doors between the kitchen and patio.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I love the house, yard, and location. For this price I’d really like at least an additional half bath, though.

  • I have many problems with this. If I’m spending that kind of money, I do not want my front door to open directly into my living room. It’s a very basic quality of life issue for me. They don’t list the square footage, that I saw, but having grown up in a sears house, I’m guessing it’s not much. And that attic bedroom is cute, but the sloping ceilings eat up all your potential storage space.
    Not a deal for me!

    • The front porch is what’s meant to buffer the entry into the living room. A more practical problem is the lack of a vestibule/breezeway, which is nice in winter.

  • Cute, but not a good deal at this price.

  • It’s really a 2/1, although the parlor sometimes is sold as a third bedroom–I wonder if that’s the case here given that we only see one bedroom (rather small) plus the attic. The attic is probably a bit “optimistic” as a bedroom and the skylights are probably more trouble than they’re worth in the long run.

    I like the preservation of the period details and layout. I owned a slightly different 1930 Craftsman in Atlanta and probably walked through dozens of these before I bought it. Even with an upper NW address, it’s a bitoverpriced, period details and all.

  • The single bath is a killer on whether it’s a good deal, especially with them trying to claim it’s a 3-bedroom. If you’re housing that many people you at least need a second toilet at this price and adding even a half bath is a major PITA and expense.

  • Blithe

    I love, love, love this house. The porch makes me swoon. The only thing that would seriously concern me is the 1 bath. It wouldn’t be a deal breaker, but it would definitely be an issue.

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