GDoN “ultra-modern home” edition

1821 Vermont Avenue Northwest

This house is located at 1821 Vermont Avenue, Northwest. The listing says:

“Don’t be fooled by the modest exterior! This ultra-modern home was rebuilt and nearly doubled in size. The gourmet kitchen features custom KraftMaid cabinets, Sub Zero/Wolf appliances and stunning Quartz counters. French doors off the living room lead to an expansive patio – perfect for entertaining. Designer bathrooms, in-ceiling speakers, and an atrium are a few of the surprises that await you.”


You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/4 bath is going for $1,799,900.

54 Comment

  • I don’t know anyone who uses clear acrylic furniture except stagers trying to make a place look larger than it really is.

  • $920 / sq. ft. Holy mackerel.

  • This is serious weak sauce. Definitely needs more modern to be ultra modern. I guess the price is okay if you’re into that tepid modernity.

  • One-point-eight MILLION dollars in Shaw. $900/sq ft. In Shaw. And is that small room with the daybed/futon one of the bedrooms? This and other recent listings around us has me seriously contemplating selling while the selling’s good. We were in it for the long haul just because it was what we could afford a few years ago, but its coming to a point where you could get a SFH with a big yard in a good NW DC school district for the same money as Shaw/Bloomingdale/LeDroit.

    • Do you really see things slowing down? Especially in the rowhome sector? May not go up much more but I dont see prices dropping either.

    • If you feel 2-4 of the following to be true, then you probably should make that trade:
      -you value schools and space over proximity to the core and transitability
      -you doubt the schools will get better near the city core (either against current metrics or because metrics change with our understanding of what a good education is)
      -you doubt the schools will get worse WOTP (again, either against current metrics or because metrics change)
      -you doubt property values near the core will continue increasing faster than property values WOTP, or aren’t that concerned with your home as an equity play

    • I think the small room with the daybed/futon is indeed one of the bedrooms. And I think the fourth “bedroom” must be the basement area, which sounds totally bogus to me given that the basement area is completely open not only to the stairs but to part of the upstairs too.

      • The fourth bedroom is the one staged as the office. The basement area is extra living space.

    • +1

  • Lovely place. Exceedingly overpriced (and I almost never say that to GDON posts).

  • I am floored by the price, but given that the condo on S and the House on Westminster sold for $1.6 and $2 Million respectively, I am not sure that it is overpriced for the “right” buyer.

    There goes the neighborhood 🙂

  • Wow re that price. Serious question – I cannot imagine this appraising at anything close to the asking price. Do the buyers just put 50% down so financing isn’t an issue?

  • mid city guy

    Actually it’s 1,956 SF. 4 levels, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and single family row house with parking. It has an interior atrium space from the lower level up to the top. top-of-the line appliances and bath fixtures/finishes. A 3 br, 2,000 SF condo in a 2 unit bldg at 941 S just sold for 1.5M.

    3d virtual tour:

    • I can’t image how small the rooms must be if 4/4 occupy less than 2000 square feet.

      • My thoughts exactly. You can look at the house and see that it is narrow, probably around 18 feet wide, which will make from small bedrooms.

        • I’d guess it’s 14ft wide max.

          • HaileUnlikely

            The exterior of the house appears to be about 18 ft wall to wall (standard exterior door is 36 inches wide, this door looks pretty standard to me, and the door appears to be about one-sixth of the width of the house. The concrete block on each side plus wall covering probably eats up about a foot on each side, so I think the interior space is likely about 16 ft wide.
            N.B. Whether the above math is right or wrong has no bearing on whether this is a good deal. No way in heck is this a good deal.

    • If this listing were for, say, $1.35 million, I think there would be a huge bidding war for it and it would sell for much higher than that. But at this price point, it’s hard not to look for all of the reasons why it’s overpriced. And I agree with the anonymous poster below who said that you can get nicer properties than this (in Shaw/Logan Circle) for the asking price.

    • Thank you. And were you the real estate agent for the condo, too, or just this house? 🙂 Um, this price is crazy insane. Though I have not understood why, but there has long been a bit of a premium on new condos over houses – whether renovated or not. So, my point is, if that condo sold for 1.5M – crazy, too, in my opinion – then this house is still over priced.

  • Either these are horrible pictures or that living room is only about 8 feet wide with 9 foot ceilings. Hard pass, even before the astronomical price tag.

  • The pictures of the stairs make me think the interior is laid out like a split-level, which I would not want to live in.

    • Same. I hate how you have to go up stairs to get to the kitchen, but I have an irrational hatred of split-levels.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I like the location but not much else. If the seller offered to simply trade me this house for my house as an even exchange, then if not for the opportunity to resell immediately for ginormous profit, I don’t know if I’d even take the trade. (My house is valued at about 20-25% of the asking price of this house)

    • You’ve used this logic before on GDON posts and were called out for it since your house is in like Takoma or something and these are not the same two products. All you’re saying is you value space over location. Congrats on that but please stop incessantly pretending that calculation is the same for everyone else.

      • HaileUnlikely

        What does “called out on it” even mean. I have stated my preferences, and declared them as my own. If others disagree, that’s nice.

      • HaileUnlikely

        p.s. As stated, I like this location quite a bit, actually, and this house is larger than mine. It’s not “space vs. location,” it’s “I strongly dislike this house, and $1.8M is baths!t crazy.”

      • Glad someone recalled the Takoma (suburbs) comparison (rolls eyes)

  • So ugly because of the roof lines. Who wants to live in a house that is not exactly like your neighbor?

  • That price is shocking — esp considering they sold it in 2013 for $399k. That’s a ghastly markup.

    • Well it sounds like they added 2 beds, 3 baths and about 1000 sq ft, so not really fair to compare the 2013 price. That said, while it’s very nice, you can get a lot of nice houses in DC with a $1.8m budget.

      • For 1.8 M, it would be upper NW for me. Detached SF, lower crime, better schools, less random foot traffic, etc.

        • Interestingly it’s the “random foot traffic” (what I would call “street life”) that actually makes me enjoy city-living. But to each their own! 🙂

      • Of the two bedrooms they added, only one looks like it definitely, hands-down meets the requirements to qualify as a bedroom.

    • I’m sure it’s not a pure markup. My guess is that they did a gut renovation, including a digout and a big extension on the back, and that isn’t cheap. But still, I would agree that they didn’t add anything close to $1.4 million in value.

      • What does a digout like that cost I wonder? That must be an insane project unless you’re planning to do the gut job anyway. What would worry me the most with that being a recent thing is whether it was done properly and there won’t be water issues down the road.

        • No idea about the cost, but I would be concerned about issues, too, as the first owner after such a major project.
          I’d also be wary of spending so much on a place with such trendy finishes. They are never going to look as nice as they do right at this moment, and think that by the time the new owners sell this will look very “DC chic circa spring 2016.”

        • I spoke to several contractors about gaining 1.5 feet of height over a 900 sq. feet footprint and most of the excavation estimates came in around 30 – 35K. I’d imagine for something like this, where the back of the house is (most likely) removed and the contractor can use a Bobcat or something instead of hand excavation, that the cost would be cheaper. I’m not sure about that though.

          • But wasn’t this a house without any basement at all? So this would be a full dig down of what – 8 to 10 feet?

          • I hadn’t realized that – I’d imagine if you stick another zero on those prices you’re close to how much it would cost a homeowner.

  • Well, at least that price gave me a good laugh, which I’ve been needing today.

  • I Dont Get It

    I like it but think it is way overpriced–good luck with that! Plus I would be bothered for paying that much for a house that has the curb appeal of a house with 1/3 its value.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Honestly, I’d rather have something that looks clean and well-maintained but does not look expensive and fancy from the outside. I figure, if you are a good target for burglars or robbers, better to be quiet about it than go out of your way to show off how much money you have.

      • This I agree with. I actually think the house is pretty adorable from the outside and I really love the long flat front yards of these types of homes in DC (better than the climb up the stairs right off the sidewalk victorians everywhere else).

        I love the renovation, love the house. It’s definitely my style. But as everyone rightly notes, it’s way overpriced. $1.2 or $1.3 million to me would be the absolute max, but as SFHs become rarer and rarer in NW, this is where prices are going.

        I’d pay $900/square foot for this before I’d pay that for a tiny condo in City Center.

      • Actually, I retract this only because I looked at Google street map and realized that yard is not nearly as deep as it looks in the photos on the listing. And I realized exactly where this is and another thing I would hate about this is that Vermont is a very busy street right there. I deal with that in my current home and say to myself all the time, when I move, it has to be a quieter street.

        • Oh wow I just looked at the street view and that IS a busy street. Yikes, I could never live on a street that busy.

      • I like this logic! That’s why Ive kept my front yard looking like crap, and spent all my money on the inside where I alone can appreciate it (haha)

        • Not gonna lie – I’ve consciously allowed my front yard to get quasi-neglected for that very reason. I can easily afford to spruce it up, but I don’t think we’re there quite yet.

          • When I first moved into my house I was more focused on the inside. During that time I had a bike and my front gate (the only other thing one could steal) taken from my front yard. Throwing caution to the wind, I got some nice patio furniture, potted plants, and one of those outdoor area rugs. This was about 4 years ago and nothing’s been stolen yet, nor have any of the packages I’ve had delivered. It probably depends on the block (I live on a busy street in a neighborhood that’s gone from semi to fully gentrified but still has a lot of crime) but in my experience it helps if you make it look like you care about your front yard.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Anon – I agree that “making it look like you care” is beneficial. The balance I try to strike is that I try to make it look like I care but not make it look like I a have a lot of expensive stuff (which is accurate on both counts – I do care, and I take care of my property, but I’d probably be the worst house on the block for somebody to burglarize – they’d certainly walk away disappointed.)

  • Look at the greenish house to the left — the developer did the two houses side by side at the same time. They did use bobcats and the like and seemed to be a pretty legit construction company. Once this one sells, get ready for the GDoN on the house next door 🙂

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