GDoN “portraying museum quality wood work” edition


This house is located at 2326 1st Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“$200,000 price adjust. NEW LOOK! -A home for sophisticated buyers passionate about urban conservation. Over 3000 SQF portraying museum quality wood work, original lighting & intact period details with modern amenities.Formal dining, gourmet kitchen, deck, 2 master suites.2 BR, sep. metered rental unit, garage. Main house vacant, unit by apt. OH Sunday 2-4”


You can see more photos here.

This 6 bed/4.5 bath is going for $1,250,000.

22 Comment

  • Beautiful building and there’s some nice woodwork left in tact, but everything else looks completely ho-hum to command over $1.2 million. People with that kind of money to spend aren’t generally big on Home Depot tastes. My guess is that it goes for something closer to one million.

  • Hmm…I do think this is a really cool house. But the kitchen and bathroom upgrades seem pretty basic for a $1.2 million price tag. I’m also bothered that they painted all the trim upstairs white. For the area and the mediocre upgrades, I would not pay over $1 million.

  • Six beds/4.5 baths though? That’s massive! Seems like $1.2 is not unreasonable.

  • I’d say this is a little high, but I am betting the prospect of rental income from day one will help people get over sticker shock. Not sure why they didn’t bother adding a back splash, but I guess the new owner can do it easily.

    My guess is this goes for $1.2M flat.

    • There’s no CoO for the basement rental and it looks like the ceilings are under the 7’6″ minimum necessary to obtain a new CoO from the city. This means that someone paying $1.25 million is going to be renting the basement illegally and thus assume all associated risk. I don’t think that’s very likely – a $1,500 monthly windfall isn’t worth the risk to someone spending $1.25 million. To bring the basement into DCRA compliance would likely require a complete digout and rebuild, which will cost well over $150k at retail (perhaps less if there’s no need to redo electrical and plumbing).

      • I’m pretty sure the CoO minimum is 7″ no? Did that change? Regardless, it is hard to tell from photos exactly what the ceiling height is.

        • I don’t think it’s that hard to estimate ceiling height by using the door height (assuming standard 6’8″ doors – they certainly don’t seem to be anything special). And yes, it seems that DCRA is now requiring that new CoO conversions adhere to the international building code, which requires 7’6″ minimums.

          • Hmm, do you have a source on that? I can’t find anything about it.

            If true, that is unfortunate. All that is going to do is drive more owners to do rentals without registering with DCRA, which means less oversight for the code conditions that actually matter.

          • See the following discussion:
            I agree that this seems very unfortunate and will result in fewer legal rentals.

          • Thanks! I think from that discussion the DCRA might not know itself what regulations they are applying (so I am not sure that weird reading of the rules is always being applied), but its crazy no matter what.

            Though I ALSO just got PIVS to work and checked the permits… or rather lack there of. I know at least some of that work needed permits, so that’s a big red flag for me. I bet it still goes for over a million, but you would hope anyone looking to spend that much on a house will do the diligence to look that up.

      • If those doors are standard height (unclear from the photos alone) I am guessing the ceilings are at about 7 feet exactly, so if is separately metered and there is a front and back exit (which from the photos there appears to be), I don’t see what the obstacle to getting a CoO would be. You can’t have the only method of egress from a habitable space be from a bedroom, but there is an exception for a unit with less than two bedrooms. So this being a one bedroom, the back door being in the bedroom is not an issue.

        Not saying to be clear I would pay what they are asking. But just from the info we have, I don’t see an obvious reason the rental unit couldn’t be legal.

        • See my response above.

          • HaileUnlikely

            My understanding is that you’ll need a minimum of 7’6 for a *building permit* to do any work that would require one, to convert an existing basement (e.g., an unfinished basement, a partially finished basement, a basement that isn’t separately metered, a basement with an interior staircase) to bring it up to the requirements for a CoO. If no building permit is needed (e.g., would already qualify for a CoO but just doesn’t have one), I do not believe a 7′ ceiling would prevent getting a CoO. From the photos I can’t tell whether this would require any work that would require a building permit in order to get it to meet the requirements for a CoO, but if it would not, but in any event, I believe the 7′ vs 7’6″ ceiling height is an issue at the building permit stage. If it is also an issue at the CoO stage, that is not anything we’ve heard about yet.

          • I don’t believe that is correct. My understanding is that you need to present architectural “plans” to DCRA in order to request a change of occupancy (which you’d need since there was no prior CoO). These plans would then be judged against the IBC, which requires 7’6″ (at least from what I understand).
            Now, you could chance it that the DCRA rep decides to use 7′ instead of 7’6″, but from I understand that’s up to the whim of the rep. Either way – certainly not worth the risk if you’re relying on the rental to comfortably afford the mortgage.

          • I’ll agree that its always up to the whims of whoever is processing your particular application, but I also agree that at least in theory if they don’t need to do any actual work, I think even under the new reading the 7′ ceilings would be enough.

            The lack of permits for any of the other work makes me skeptical you wouldn’t run into other problems though (such as that garage deck, which seems like a newer addition).

          • HaileUnlikely

            I agree with your last statement, i.e., that one should not chance it if relying on the rental income to be able to pay the mortgage. It may well be the case that they would impose the 7’6 requirement for the CoO, too. I’m just saying the only context in which we have heard of that based on actual experience so far has been with respect to the building permit.

  • justinbc

    Which museum?

  • Portraying is definitely not the word they were looking for. Time to put the thesaurus away, real estate agent.

  • HaileUnlikely

    They have a hardwood floor in a bathroom with a shower. Are you kidding me?

    • Yeah, I had the same thought. (And the flooring right next to the shower had visible deterioration.)
      The bathroom also looked as though it was open to a bedroom beyond (although it was hard to tell because of the lack of staging. So I guess you get to steam up not just your hardwood floor in the bathroom, but as much of your bedroom as the steam can reach!

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