GDoN “HAS IT ALL!!” edition

2801 Sherman Ave NW

This house is located at 2801 Sherman Ave, NW. The MRIS listing says:

“This stunningly elegant fully renovated row hse features: a total of 3BR/3-FB/ 2-HB and an amazing in-law suite/rental unit with 1-BR/1.5 BA with TWO sep. entrances. The main home boasts of an open floor plan w/ an eat-in kit w/breakfast bar, granite counters, & SS Applicances; sep LR/DR & Family Room w/ exposed brick & 2 MBR Suites and hrdwd flrs throughout. THIS HOME HAS IT ALL!!”


You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/3 full bath/2 half baths is going for $949,999.

Ed. Note: This is on the lot across the street from Hilltop.

41 Comment

  • Wow, it’s finally done! I remember walking by that so many times before they even started doing anything with it. Shocked they went with a house rather than condos. I can’t stand the doors and what the heck happened to the back (and side)? It looks like concrete. I guess it’s a decent deal for Sherman, but if I had 949k to spend I probably wouldn’t bid on this.

    • This house is way too ugly for someone to drop a million on it in any good conscience. The location isn’t all that great either.

    • I live about a block from here and agree this price seems steep, but maybe not crazy. That corner in particular now has the Hilltop, a nice new development underway across Sherman, the Helicopter Factory lofts up the street on Girard, and the Whole Foods project about 4 blocks to the south (assuming that’s still happening). I will say I’m surprised the developer didn’t include a roof deck, seems like a missed opportunity…

  • Does it have a CoO though? That basement unit isn’t worth nearly as much without it.

  • Am I the only one who doesn’t understand the use of glass doors on these houses? One, they’re probably easy to break and open the door (since it doesn’t appear to be dead-bolted). Secondly, how are you supposed to hide when someone comes to the door trying to sell something when they can see you sitting right in plain view?

    • A lot of people use them in rowhouses to add natural light, but since this is an end unit it probably isn’t necessary.

    • As for the second point, you put in window treatments just like for a normal window. I’d use light diffusing honeycomb or roman shades, but that way to only have it be full window for something like a party (but you still get the light).

      As for the second point… I never really got that as an objection. Honestly, what is to stop someone smashing the window and doing the same thing? And a smashed in door is going to be WAY more conspicuous than a window anyway, so even if I were a burglar and saw that I’d still go in through the window. I dunno, for me this is a nonissue.

    • most people will have an alarm. so a thief can smash and grab in theory, but (s)he’s only have a minute or two before the alarm starts going off. i’d take the extra light day in and day out over the small risk of a smash and grab.

    • I had a glass front door put in when I renovated because my house faces north, and I wanted the light. I also have a foyer separated from the living room by french doors and didn’t rip out all the walls, so I have a modicum of privacy. And I don’t have a problem not answering my door even if someone sees that I’m home. i just shake my head at them and let them know I’m not interested. I certainly never open the door to someone I don’t know.

  • It looks like the main unit only has two bedrooms – a million dollar 2 bedroom on Sherman is crazy. This is going to sit on the market a while.

  • Looks nice on the inside, but at that price? Hell. Freakin. No.

  • alissaaa

    I hate hate hate the bright green doors. I drive by every day and they are such an eyesore.

  • “hrdwd flrs throughout.”
    From that loving room picture with the light from the front door, those look awfully like those cheap “wood-look” ceramic tiles. Either that or it’s cheap printed laminate. They look nothing like actual hardwoods or even engineered/laminate with hardwood veneer.

    • First, not all “wood-look” ceramic tiles are cheap, at least not anymore. I have some high end ones in my basement and I LOVE them. They’ve gotten really good, and you would never want to actually put wood in a basement so its a good way of getting that look down there. I’d check them out again if you haven’t seen them in person in a while.
      But second, I think I know the effect you are talking about, and I am pretty sure that is just the glare from the sun reflecting on the wood grain. Can’t tell for sure without going to the house, but it looks like it is floating engineered wood. So hardwood floors is probably right.
      Also as a side note, if you are putting in a new floor with traditional solid hardwood these days, you are nuts. Go engineered.

      • Would you mind expanding on your opinion regarding real vs engineered wood? Every engineered wood/veneer that I’ve seen seemed extremely cheap to my eyes.

        • Sure! I think starting off you probably want to realize engineered wood (not wood laminate) is usually indistinguishable from sold wood unless you get down and look at it hard. You have probably seen a lot of engineered wood at this point that you thought was solid. If it looked cheap, it probably was. Good engineered wood will be very hard to tell apart from solid wood once installed.
          Solid wood planks are what they sound like, solid wood. Engineered wood flooring planks are usually instead basically three layers joined together: a core, sometimes of solid wood sometimes of another material like plywood, a bottom layer (often of the same material) and then a top wood veneer. That veneer on cheap floors can be thin, but on high quality engineered wood is pretty thick (1/4-1/3 of the thickness of the board). Its not like the paper thin veneer you see on flat pack furniture. Those individual layers can each have sublayers as well.
          While people will latch onto the cost savings of not using solid wood for the whole plank and assume the lower price makes it lower quality, these layers actually have a huge advantage over solid wood: they don’t shrink and swell nearly as much! The layers make the floor react much more uniformly to changes in humidity and temperature, so it behaves itself better. Which means installation is much easier to do right, you don’t usually have to deal with as much creaking, and you don’t need to worry as much about large gaps forming in the floors.
          There are other advantages too. You can get the boards in a variety of thicknesses, which can let you match levels throughout the house. You can install it over concrete and other weird flooring situations you could never use solid planks in. And of course, even the expensive stuff tends to be cheaper than the similar quality solid wood varieties.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I suspect that a couple of issues are being conflated in the comments further up:
            1.) real hardwood vs. engineered hardwood vs. laminate
            2.) pre-finished vs. site-finished hardwood.
            Pre-finished hardwood is hardwood has been stained and sealed before it is installed. Site-finished means you install unfinished wooden boards first, then sand it down, then stain it, then seal it.
            It is easy to eyeball the difference between pre-finished vs. site-finished, and a lot of people prefer site-finished for a variety of reasons. I doubt anybody can eyeball the difference between pre-finished hardwood vs. engineered hardwood – the top surface is literally the same thing.
            You raise lots of good points about the “behavior” of engineered vs. real hardwood. I hadn’t thought about those when I installed new flooring in my house. The selling point of “real” hardwood for me was that it can be refinished more than once, which admittedly is a more important issue if you keep the same house for 50 years than if you move after only a few years (and more generally if the house goes for 50 years between gut renos). Somewhere down the road the nth buyer is going to be mighty disappointed when they go to refinish the floor and they sand it down to the plywood – oops.

          • I agree, a lot of people get confused about the differences, particularly since a lot of them use the same terms (like veneer).
            Also valid point about refinishing, but you can still refinish engineered hardwood too (at least you can with high quality versions). And anyway, by the time either of them get down to where the plywood would be, you are about at the grooves and it is about time to install a new floor by my reckoning.
            But that is another advantage of engineered floors actually. Since they don’t settle as unpredictably, it is much easier to simply replace a few boards rather than refinish the whole floor. So you shouldn’t have to refinish it until the whole thing really gets worn down.

          • Very interesting – thank you for the detailed explanation! You’re likely right that I mistook high-quality engineered wood for solid wood. The cheap stuff was very obviously so.
            I’ll have to give engineered wood some serious consideration in the future.

      • I put in real hardwood because I like the look more than the engineered woods. I used white oak because it’s one of the hardest, especially compared to, say, maple or bamboo. however, i used those wood-looking ceramic tiles on the back porch off the bedroom and love it. Great idea to use them in the basement.

        • Maybe “nuts” was a bit strong, white oak would be a fine choice. I just personally think with a (high quality) engineered wood, its really hard to tell the difference unless you get down and look in the cracks, and so I like the advantages when it comes to maintenance or repairs. And less chance I (or someone I hire) screws up the installation and causes buckling or worse.

          • You make good points, and I suspect engineered wood has improved over the years from when I first started hearing of it. I used to be kinda anti-engineered anything, but I love my engineered quartz counter tops and the fake ceramic wood planks that are good outside or in damp places.

  • Isn’t this Pleasant Plains, being on the east side of Sherman?

  • I’m not sure I would pay that, but I understand where the pricing is coming from. Part of it is the location, but that was also a complete gut structurally if it is the house I am thinking of. Provided they did the work right (hard to tell from just photos) it should wear a lot like a brand new house (and not just a minimal flip renovation). If I could get some insight into the build process and was confident in the work, I could see paying a small premium to hopefully not have to make any major renovations in 5 years like you probably will with a cosmetic flip.

    That said, the spartan Federal-esque style makes me sad. I like the Victorians, Wardmans, and Tudors myself, but I know that is personal preference. I bet this goes for at or near list.

    • FYI: Wardman isn’t an actual style – Harry Wardman developed houses/apartments in all sorts of different styles across the city.

      • Eh, that is debatable. Wardman made a ton of buildings and some in different styles, but he is definitely identified with the front porch rowhouse. I like the name better than the competing name for the style, the Petworth-style, which I think is a bit more specific.
        Anyway, you know the ones I mean. Wider, rowhouses with front porches, usually a basement, brick, and dormers with slate/shingle/tile eaves.

  • I guess I’m the only one who loves that green door color. Door color is only visible from the outside anyway.

    The only thing I really object to are the corner sinks. oh, how I hate those.

    As for the glass in the doors, it’s not my preference because I don’t like anyone peeking in at me, but when it’s people trying to sell me something, there’s nothing I like better than to sit in plain view, and just ignore. Let them knock. Let them see that I see them. Don’t move. Knock again. Eat popcorn. Knock again. turn the TV up.

  • What would that basement unit rent for? Effectively makes the top unit cost something equivalent to probably like a $650k unit, right? Based off the interior I think you’d say that’s a pretty good deal, but then the exterior is so fugly I’d probably burn the place down.

    • $1700, maybe more? Assume that and Redfin estimates the mortgage, taxes, insurance will be $4048. That leaves you with a mortgage of $2348, yeah not bad.

    • $650k minus the work involved in renting the other one, the risk of a bad tenant over 30 yrs, periods without a tenant, etc. Not always a good idea to do a straight npv of rental income when calculating fmv of the whole property. The seller comes out ahead.

    • The building before they started was actually burned down and left in disrepair. So burning it down again would complete another cycle of life for that corner. But I think it is much improved use of space now.

      Parking is going to be a pain in the ass though with all the new condo units going up in that small block radius…

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