GDoN “stylish and modern with all of the charm preserved” edition


This house is located at 7212 7th Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“OPEN SUNDAY 8/7 2-4.30pm:- Upgraded and updated, this home is stylish and modern with all of the charm preserved. Its spacious, has great flow and wonderful natural light throughout. The chef’s kitchen with butcher block counters and high end appliances including a Bertazzoni gas range is a cook’s dream. Large fenced in yard and covered front porch! Walk to Takoma Park, Metro & shops!”

7212 7th Street Northwest

You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/2 bath is going for $649,900.

35 Comment

  • HaileUnlikely

    I live nearby, walk by this house almost every day, noticed the “coming soon” sign in front, and wondered what it would be like inside. Wow, I love this, I want it, and I wish I could trade. (This house is worth >50% more than mine for good reason, though, so that won’t be happening.) I suspect it will probably go for more than this: a considerably smaller and nice enough (but significantly less nice than this) house 2 blocks away just sold for $525K ($40K over asking), and a house comparable to this one in size, style, and condition located literally right around the corner on Fern Pl sold earlier this spring for $750K ($fully $100K over asking).

  • No central AC is a solid deal-breaker for me. Also, I’m not sure if it’s the angle of the pictures or not, but the kitchen layout looks horrible. It appears you’d have to walk 5 miles to make dinner with the fridge in one corner, sink far away on the opposite wall, and range nearly in the dining nook and opposite from the sink. Considering my pedometer clocked almost a mile in my galley kitchen during a weekend cooking binge…
    Really pretty, great location, but I just can’t do no AC and a cumbersome kitchen.

    • Retrofitting a house this size for central air shouldn’t be too expensive; if you’re in a position to buy a 650K house, you’d hopefully have an extra $15K to put into doing so.

      • I’d say that for this size of house, ductless would be about 18-20K. (Mine was a little more and my house is a little larger.)

      • $15K should be doable. I had AC and all ducts installed (had nothing before) in an 1800 square foot home in this same neighborhood for just under $15k. Got a winter discount. All the ducts were run through closets to the first floor.

      • Many in DC are buying at the top, leveraging heavily, and have no cash to spare. For this demographic it is easier to buy a house fully renovated with no need for an additional $15k expense.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Not that I necessarily recommend the following, but folding it into the mortgage in exchange for a credit from the seller (i.e., your closing costs are reduced or you get cash back at closing) is often a workable option.

    • I’m a neighbor, and I know the owner. The kitchen has a perfect work triangle, and was drawn by an architect. This is definitely a camera-angle situation.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I thought that appeared to be the case. I can tell in photo #13 that it is very workable, but the perspective in photo #14 is messing with my head.

        • It was hard to tell, but a couple of photos looked like it was misaligned and would be hard to work in. It’s only as big of a deal as it is for someone like *me,* as someone who cooks so much they can clock a mile in a small kitchen (I know I’ll order takeout unless I’m really excited about what I’m cooking, so complicated cooking it is…cheaper and healthier, even if it does take time and effort). I like the idea of a large kitchen, but I know what that would mean for me in practice, and the perceived misalignment would just make it even worse. If it’s actually aligned, I rescind that issue.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Good catch on the lack of AC; though agreed with JS that adding it wouldn’t be a huge deal (I’d probably opt for a ductless mini-split if installing in a house like this one that was otherwise in good shape and didn’t want to install lots of bulky ductwork everywhere.) I would have tempered my comment about going for over asking if I had noticed that it did not have AC. I do still think it will go over asking, but not by as wide a margin as I would have thought before.
      I don’t have a problem with the kitchen. I might want to move the fridge and put in a nicer island, but no big deal.

    • I will never understand the no AC being a deal breaker. As I’ve discussed before it is not hard nor that expensive. My house was a bit of a mess for four days. Not to mention you get the bump in value after you have it installed.

      • I understand it for renting, but it definitely shouldn’t be a deal breaker for buying. Though honestly, I didn’t know how well split ACs worked until I moved into an apartment with one, so I imagine most people probably think central AC is the only option. My split unit is so much quieter and efficient than the central AC in my old place. I would install them in a heartbeat if I bought a place with no AC.

        • I’ve spent a lot of time in parts of the world where they’re the only AC game in town, so I don’t *hate* them, but I also find them kind of ugly. Personally, I can just barely tolerate the DC summer (and if I were to move away, it would be my number one reason for doing so…I’m miserable for 4 months out of the year), so a window unit won’t cut it and to spend so much on a home and then have to invest in something I feel is pretty basic in an updated home just bums me out.

          • And, of course, I should note that I wouldn’t have this complaint if the home had forced-air heat. With the ducts and whatnot already in place, adding AC is an easy and inexpensive (relative) upgrade. I wouldn’t have even mentioned it if I saw floor/wall/ceiling vents and window units, since the add-on would be NOTHING. Seeing radiators and window units set off my alarms of “you need to upgrade to AC if buying this.”
            Summing up the comments, a similar place sold for $750K recently. If it’s 704 Fern, that one had central AC and was 350 ft2 bigger (that’s an entire living room bigger, with the same number of bedrooms). If installing central AC in this place costs $15K, that brings the price per square foot to $443 (without considering that, it’s $433/ft2). 704 Fern sold for $407/ft2 with central AC already installed. When boiled down like that, it doesn’t seem quite as good of a deal for a slightly (very slightly) roomier kitchen (but smaller bedrooms) and 1/2 block less walking to the Metro.

          • And I just have to reiterate that I said below that the value bump for doing the AC install might be priced in with our insane market on settlement. Now that I’ve looked up the offered comps on this thread, that value bump is priced in and more! So, NOT a good deal, given comps, despite being attractive and close to transit. It’s pretty and pleasing and I’m sure someone will pay over list for it, but when boiled down to bare comps in the immediate area, it’s overpriced.

        • We actually did get a quote for split AC on our house and it was quite a bit more expensive–about $8k. Granted that was just one company, but personally I can’t get past the sight of the split. To each their own though, there are options!

      • The central air preoccupation is a little more justified for a house than a condo, but window units are cheap to buy, often no more/less noisy than central and often very efficient (cheap to use). I’ll bet the entire first floor of this place can be cooled by a single unit. And yes, I’ve had plenty of central and window units over time. I also grew-up in a house of the same vintage as this one, only a little bigger.

        • totally agree. I lived in a Mt. Pleasant rowhouse for 16 years with no central AC. The window unit in the living room pretty much kept the whole first floor cool, and we had smaller ones in the bedrooms. In the winter, we took them out and stored them in the basement. The lack of central AC should not be a dealbreaker on a house that you otherwise can afford and that appeals to you in other ways. Get the AC later when you can afford it.

        • Central air, once you spend to put it in, is MUCH more efficient to run. I found running it 24 hours a day to cool 1200 sq feet to be about the cost of running 1 window AC in a bedroom just at night.

          • HaileUnlikely

            The effiiciencies of central AC and of window units vary widely. For a top-of-the-line central AC system and a cheap window unit, this might be true. A typical central AC system will consume about 2-3 times as much power as a typical window unit, though. If you really do need to cool multiple rooms on multiple floors, yes, central AC will be more efficient than having several window units. Simply comparing power consumption (and thus actual cost in dollars) to run central versus to run a window unit, though, what you describe is not impossible but is definitely not typical.

      • Doing something that expensive can seem daunting to a first-time buyer who is stretching themselves to buy. But having bought once with that attitude, I realized it was mainly the fear of buying and spending. Second time, I’d buy something like this in a heartbeat, and put the central AC on a credit card and pay it off as I could.

    • “solid deal breaker’ even on a good deal? That is short-sighted as you can retrofit air con with ease these days. To each there own I gues

      • Listing price doesn’t have a lot to do with settled price in this area, so it remains to be seen if this will end up being a good deal to the point that a large investment is worth it. As it’s priced now, probably worth it. But we’ll see where it ends up. The value bump for installing AC may end up getting priced in.

    • Having moved from cooking in narrow but efficient galley kitchens, where I could reach sink, stove and fridge all with barely taking 1 step, to a place with a large square kitchen (large for a condo), where the sink and stove are what seemed at first to be really far apart on opposite sides of the square, I get the concern. I do walk more, but I did get used to it. I like having more counter space, and I’m used to walking – is isn’t that bad. These rooms aren’t nearly as large as the photos show them to be. I might remove the central island to make walking easier here.
      I like that the kitchen is big because I’d want more storage cabinets. There’s room her for more upper cabinets, and more lower cabinets and counter space if you don’t need to have the seating area in the kitchen by the windows. I could do quite nicely with this kitchen with some minor improvements. Many cute older houses this size have tiny kitchens – I like that this one does’t.

      • There’s a comment above from a neighbor that the misalignment of the work spaces is a trick of the camera. The realtor probably used a specialty lens to capture more or make it look bigger, and it threw the image off. The triangle they mention makes movement around the kitchen efficient, even if larger. It’s a nice space with the triangle aligned properly. I could certainly put it to good use, though my dream kitchen includes a double wall oven for the world’s best Thanksgiving dinner (a friend has one, and I helped her do Thanksgiving one year for, like, 25 people…it was AWESOME).
        Upper cabinets are great storage-wise, but I think they skipped them here mostly because it would make the space substantially darker by boxing in windows. I think there’s enough overall space to hide the cheapo/necessary ugly stuff and put the decent dishes on the open shelves. No one needs to see the few plastic (not disposable) plates and cups I keep around for children and drunk people, but my everyday dishes are pretty enough that I wouldn’t mind people seeing them.

  • I want it just for that fireplace. All the changes I would make are purely cosmetic. Otherwise, this house looks great.

  • 1,500 sq ft + what must be an unfinished basement = pretty damned small, but you are walking distance to metro and the rest of the home is pretty nice. I think it could get 675k.

  • Cute as a button, but seeing the coat tree a good twenty feet away from the front door just highlights that there is zero storage on the first floor. No coat closet! That would kill the deal for me.

    • I find this easy to fix with an armoire – that’s what people used when these houses were built where closets were lacking – furniture. I’d put on on that wall where the coat tree is, and se the sofa in front of the window. There looks like there’s also room for a some mudroom type storage on the wall next to the back door, between the window and the counter.

      • Are you an interior designer?

        • It’s just what most of us living in original-layout houses do. I have hooks on the wall by the front door, and a shoe rack under the hall table. I rotate the stuff on the hooks by season, and use an upstairs closet to store the off-season stuff.
          But then, my front door doesn’t open directly into my living room. THAT’S the deal-breaker for me.

          • Yeah, it is so much nice to have an actual foyer area! Though in many cases, if you drive most places (not here, as this is so close to the metro), people end up entering through the back door all the time if the parking space is out back.

  • Its a great house to drink beer on the front porch. Good times.

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