GDoN “Custom-built masterpiece” edition

1202 Decatur Street Northwest

This house is located at 1202 Decatur Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Open Sat 7/2 & Sun 7/3 1-4p. Custom-built masterpiece completely restored w/ 4 fabulous lvls; spectacular chef~s kitchen: tray ceilings, premium SS appliances, granite counters, island,& formal dining area; light-drenched floor plan w/ Anderson windows; family rm w/ FP; hwd flrs; deluxe master suite w/ sitting rm, marble & Travertine tiled bath w/ dual vanities & spa shwr; private outdoor terrace.”


You can see more photos here.

This 5 bed/4.5 bath is going for $1,385,500.

58 Comment

  • Accountering

    Nope – Brightwood Park or 16th St Heights are not worth 1.4 million dollars.

    • It’s not Brightwood Park.

    • Houses in 16th St. Heights go for that all the time, though closer to 16th St. This place is pretty far east.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I agree with you, but the market is getting increasingly looney up there. A house one block north and one block west from here (1314 Farragut) finally went for $1.275M after about 3-4 months on the market (originally listed before Christmas for $1.5M)
        The side of this house faces Georgia Avenue. It is the corner lot of Decatur & Georgia. Aside from valuations in the general area, you’d have to be out of your MF mind to pay this much to be right on this strip of Georgia.

      • Accountering

        Uhh, no they don’t. Redfin shows 5 houses selling for over 1.25 million in 16th St Heights. That includes two mansions on 16th (a 7/4.5 at 4800 sq feet (1.6mil!) , and a 5/3.5 at 4200 – 1.3), a 5/5 on west of 16th on Madison (4800 Sq feet) – 1.4, an 8/6.5 on Madison for 1.3, and a 8/4.5 on Gallatin for 1.3.
        I will stick with my original statement, but will add a caveat that there are a couple of exceptions, for truly amazing houses. This is not one of those.

        • Whatever. You say no they don’t, then you say they do, then you say you’ll stick with your statement, then you’ll say you’ll change you’re statement to recognize the facts.
          I live in the same corner of 16th St. Heights as most of the properties you list, so from where I sit, it happens all the time.

          • Accountering

            Meh, I said they aren’t worth 1.4, you said they sell for that all the time, I did the research, noting that in the last two years, there had been 5 such sales in a huge area, and recognized that, despite some exceptions, houses in this neighborhood still aren’t worth 1.4, if they aren’t an exception, and this house isn’t.

          • I sure as he’ll hope you didn’t pay anything close to this price for your sake!

        • Accountering

          I didn’t even realize this was that block of Georgia. 1.4 million to live on Georgia is nuts. This thing is probably worth closer to 1.1.

          • Wow, I’m thinking even less than that, like high 800s, but then I’m usually out of my MF mind on these things. I remember looking at 1212 Decatur about six years ago when I was in the market and really loved it and this street. The back yards, at least mid-block, are quite deep, and the houses are all detached.

          • High 800s is indeed insane. People are buying rowhouses a block East for 700-750. And a few blocks West for 1M.
            The midblock house currently under construction will probably go for close to the asking for this one (1.4M). This is overpriced only because it’s on the corner with GA. I bet it falls to 1.1-1.2M.

        • There’s a house on the same block that’s undergoing a gut renovation now. It will be an interesting comparison once that goes on the market. It’s a huge beautiful house and an enormous lot. My hunch is the mid-block house could go for 1.3-1.4M

  • Right behind Georgia like that for 1.4 mil? No way

  • Some of the inside is nice, but for 1.4 I would want more curb appeal (that looks Frankensteined together, and intentionally so), all the same flooring on the first floor (I’m not sure if that’s wood or laminate, but there’s no reason for the break in it in the foyer and addition), and a basement that looks more finished than a 1980s church rec room. Maybe I’m unrealistic about what you can get for that amount because I don’t have that amount to spend, but I would at least expect not to be turned off by some of the major design decisions.
    Disagree that 16th St Heights isn’t worth that much as a rule, though. There are some gorgeous, giant houses in that neighborhood that could well be worth this price tag. This one in particular just doesn’t do it for me.

    • Agreed on multiple counts.

    • This house was a falling-down eyesore for years, so I like the reno for the aesthetic improvement, but cannot believe anyone would pay 1.4 million to live across the street from a 70/79 bus stop and a convenience store. I live a few blocks away, so would love to believe homes in the neighborhood are worth that, but I have my rather significant doubts. Calling this location “16th st heights” is akin to calling the Washington Hospital Center “Capitol hill north.”

      • Did they replace (or unearth) the vine-covered fence (retaining wall?) that’s visible in the Google Street View photos?
        If there’s no fence, I bet there’s going to be a TON of litter being deposited at the edges of the yard, what with the house being across the street from the bus stop and catecorner from a convenience store.

      • What would you call this house’s neighborhood? I always understood Georgia to be the Eastern border of 16th St Heights, and this is just (just!) west of Georgia, so… ?

        • Accountering

          I am going to stick with Brightwood Park haha, because for all intents and purposes, that is where it sits, regardless of the fact it may technically (for tax purposes) sit in 16th st Heights.

          • It’s both south and west of Brightwood Park. This is basically the opposite of a realtor claiming a more desirable neighborhood for a house outside of its boundaries to drive up the price — just because it sits on Georgia doesn’t boot it out of 16th St Heights, when it’s in the actual boundary.

          • Accountering

            Hah, ok, it’s in Petworth. Regardless of where it technically sits, IMO, a house on Georgia Avenue is not really in 16th st Heights. If you want me to admit that the location is in 16th st heights for tax purposes (already did that!) then sure, it’s in 16th st heights. Happy?

          • It is in 16th St Heights for all purposes. I’m not sure what you’re getting out of throwing other neighborhood designations at it, but you’re not making much sense. I’m not unhappy, just somewhat confused that you’re so determined to incorrectly answer a question I posed to a different commenter.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Obviously, houses that are right on neighborhood borders will “feel” less like the neighborhood that they are technically in than will a house right in the middle of said neighborhood. Yes, this is technically 16th St Heights. But the fact that the property is adjacent to the 4700-4800 block of Georgia Avenue certainly goes a long way toward negating any premium otherwise associated with being in 16th St. Heights. (I live less than one full block off of Georgia Avenue. I’m happy where I am, but if it were the corner house at Georgia, I’d want a large discount. This is the opposite of a discount.)

          • Accountering

            I’ve answered your question. Just because it sits in 16th St Heights for tax purposes, does not mean all people have to believe it is in 16th St Heights. Neighborhoods in DC are subject to interpretation, and this is an example – I think this house associates much more closely with Petworth/Brightwood Park. I associate (again, my opinion!) 16th St with big houses, big lots, lots of trees. This block has a bus stop, a crappy convenience store, and is on top of Georgia Avenue, with all the craziness that entails.

          • I think of Brightwood and Brightwood Park as being much further north, like above Missouri, no?

          • Yes, Accountering. You’ve answered it. Incorrectly, and it was never posed to you to begin with, but you’ve answered it about 8 times now. Your answer makes less sense the longer you belabor it (this *is* a big house, on a big lot), but I get it. Your point of view has been adequately represented, trust.

        • The feel is far more 16th Street Heights. I know this is a ways from 16th Street, but Petworth is almost all rowhouses. As soon as you cross Georgia here it’s all separate houses, a look at feel that characterizes much of 16th Street Heights. Streets further North like Inghram have more of a Brightwood feel.

  • Too many coffered (? – if that’s the right word) ceilings on the first floor — feels like overkill. And the whole first floor seems overly renovated.
    There’s a bit more character in the upper floors.
    Interesting that there is a metal staircase (I assume for fire-escape purposes) running from the 3rd floor into a window on the 2nd floor. I wonder whether this house was at some point rented out, or if it was just occupied by someone who was really worried about fire-related safety.
    Too bad they couldn’t have stuccoed (?) the addition to match the rest of the house/exterior walls.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I haile recommend paying this home a quick visit via Google Maps, so you can see what it looked like not long ago, and more importantly so you can check out the surroundings a little better than the agent photos let you.

  • It’s a nice renovation – the house as seen on Google streetview is pretty grim.
    But I can’t see anyone wanting to pay $1.3 million for a house on Georgia Avenue, especially with no yard. Some of the bedrooms and especially the kitchen are too small for that kind of money.
    I could see it going for $900K. Maybe. Maybe somewhere south of that.

  • Single-address LLC? Check
    LLC governor with no apparent connection to development industry? Check
    No inspections and permits still open on PIVS? Check

    What can go wrong dropping $1.4 on a house like that.

  • This is decently well done and it’s a really, really nice block. The house and yard are cool but as others have said it’s handicapped by the location right on GA Ave. The developer also tore down a very tall privacy fence along GA which I think was a mistake. The price would be a little high down the block, on the corner I think it’s very high.
    The outcome of this reno highlights the idiocy of zoning in that stretch. That block is zoned R-1-B. Who is going to want a high priced SFH along Georgia? I understand wanting to maintain the nature of the street mid-block, but this is separated from the rest of the block by an alley. It would have been a great opportunity for a small apartment conversion and would provide much needed housing in the area.

    • Those two R-1-B blocks of GA Ave are designated moderate density residential despite the low-density zoning. Should be a relatively straight forward map amendment to R-4 (and potentially R-5-B) if there were support for it among the 14 property owners and ANC 4C (ha!)

      • *Desginated moderate density on the future land use map*

      • Exactly. The obstructionist block on 4C are a bunch of morons with a nostalgia for a past that never was. The BZA should just rezone anything not currently not commercial and lower density that R-5-B to R-5-B.
        Georgia Ave is simply too busy for most people to want a SFH.

  • It’s hilarious following some of these comments. Yes it is right off GA Ave. Yes it is a lot of money (and probably overpriced). But what a lot of reader here don’t appreciate is there is actually a pretty deep buyer pool in this city looking for large re-done detached houses in the $1-1.5M range. This house will sell, maybe not at $1.38M, but somewhere not too far from it (doubt it will go for less than $1.2M). Might seem like you must be MF out of your mind to do so or you might just not know the market very well.

    • HaileUnlikely

      This isn’t called “Is there in the market one person who will pay this much?” but rather, “Good Deal or Not.” $1.4M to be right across Georgia Avenue from Quick Stop is not a good deal, virtually regardless of anything about the house.

      • It also isn’t called “comparing every listing to my own house” which doesn’t stop you from doing so…

        • HaileUnlikely

          My own house is valued somewhere between a quarter and a third of the list price for this. Comparing a house listed for $1.4M to a house valued at probably about $375K or so is nothing but idle entertainment. If you are too dense to grasp that, I’m sorry. Seriously now, I think this is a pretty nice house, but I’d value the location at about -$800K or so. When you envision living in a $1.4M house, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I don’t know, but I’d bet it isn’t the 70 bus right out front and the Kwik Stop across the street.

        • I get the feeling that Haile tends to compare houses to his own with a full understanding of the location and other aspects of each are (usually) taken into account in the listing price.

      • To Quick Stop’s credit, it’s NOT a liquor store. I’m up Decatur, and I think that place is great.

        • Yeah, I am pretty sure they don’t even sell any alcohol (not sarcasm – they really dont)

        • Agreed. I used to live nearby and always thought that was/could be a nice block. It would be good to see a few new businesses in there though.
          The 70/79 and the crowd at that stop is also pleasant and friendly (at least in contrast to my current commute on the insane X2). The 79 will get you to the metro in minutes.

    • I just hope the new buyer likes to pick up garbage and remove graffiti. That’s almost a full time job on that corner.

  • Location aside, pretty decent imo. Good to see these rehabbed, detached SFs hitting the market .

  • While I agree with most of the comments about this being priced too high because it’s right on Georgia Ave., that stretch of Georgia is largely residential and mostly SFHs, which might boost the appeal slightly.

  • In boundary for West, which feeds to MacFarland then Roosevelt. But if you are buying a 1.4 mil house, your kids are probably going to private schools. It’s nice inside but who would buy this at that location for that price? Someone who made good but wanted to stay close to mom? What are sellers smoking?

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