GDoN “state of the art-high end craftsmanship” edition (reader request)

1416 Otis St NE

This house is located at 1416 Otis Street, NE. OP writes: “The most expensive listing in Brookland?” The MRIS listing says:

“Luxor does it again with this 3500sq.ft. state of the art-high end craftsmanship & materials,4br.4.5bth beauty. Too many to mention but Wolf appliance-Subzero kitchen is just the beginning.See =FAQ in docs.Green space & in line secure osp 3+cars.Contact Alt. Agent with questions.”


You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/4.5 bath is going for $1,450,000.

63 Comment

  • WOW! I would have expected something more like $850k…I’m not an expert, but definitely would not expect to see that price. I think the whole “thing” about Brookland is that it provides opportunity for a real backyard, parking, etc. at a reasonable price. There are a lot of other neighborhoods for someone who is looking in this price range.

    • But not with backyard+parking and not to mention very proximal Metro access. House prices are out of control because we can’t build housing quickly enough, but we’ll never be able to scale detached houses (unless we figure out a way to stack floating platforms in the air) and we’ll never invest in metro stations just to serve detached houses. So Brookland real estate should be expected to rise in cost far above other neighborhoods, until the pressure to subdivide/rezone gets too immense. At which point remaining detached houses will just become more expensive because they have to overtake the opportunity cost of redeveloping them into condos.

  • This is crazy. No way this is going to happen. Husband and I were speculating this weekend that a new strategy seems to be waayyyy overpricing houses in this area with the hopes that it will still sell significantly over what it’s likely worth.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Especially for developers who own several properties in the same neighborhood and want to use an early sale to jack up the comps for subsequent sales.

    • I’ve noticed a similar strategy around Shaw/Bloomingdale. I think they’re all hoping for out of town/country buyers who don’t have a decent grasp on the DC market.

    • Except houses like this have been selling for over $1mil. So how are you determining what’s worth what?

      • There have been 2 $1M+ homes listed in GDONs in Brookland recently. One had to come under $1M to get a contract, the other is *still* on the market (from August) at $940K. Houses have been listing for $1M. A *couple* have sold for over that (note that those selling for over $1M were much larger, just as nice, and even closer to the Metro). The comp for this price was the spectacular house…5,300 ft2, 8 beds, 6 baths, 2 bedroom legal basement rental (finished with kitchen and all), palatial yard, and closer to the Metro. This is overpriced. It’s nice, but WAY too high.

        • Fair points, but I still find it irksome when people say things like “sell significantly over what it’s likely worth” because it’s worth what it sells for. Home prices aren’t based on averages of what interested buyers are willing to pay; just the maximum. Home sales are all essentially auctions and there’s no objective truth to any home’s value because there are too many factors.

          • “because it’s worth what it sells for” — What about if the house goes under contract for a certain amount but appraises for less?

          • Appraisers just tell banks whatever they need to hear, so I dunno why that theoretical would occur. But that would indicate the price went down once someone acted on that advice.

          • Occasionally properties fail to appraise.

          • My argument is that the homes that are selling for over $1M aren’t “like this.” (There have been 3 in total, by the way, so $1M+ homes are still rare birds in Brookland) Particularly this far above $1M, they are substantially larger, better designed, and more conveniently located (and this is a pretty good location, but not AS good). Homes “like this” that list for over $1M do not sell for that, and sit on the market because they were initially overpriced. Thought that was pretty clear…

  • Love the exterior, but not crazy about a lot of the finishes. Although it does look pretty quality. Price seems very high for the area but that is a lot of square footage…

    • The ugly brickwork in the LR is reason enough to say it isn’t worth the asking. Brookland has been considered desirable since the late 80s. The sudden “discovery” is as laughable as it is lucrative for people who bought there ages ago.

  • Thought inside looked very nice, with some cool spaces. Hate the single pane giant picture window though. Would look so much better if it had some dividers IMHO.

    • west_egg

      Agreed re: the single pane window. If you look at Street View you can see the “before” — the divided windows do look a lot better, IMHO (both the main floor and the one above it). I also happen to like the red brick much better in this case but I suppose the gray does a better job as far as shouting “FLIPPED!!!!”

  • The entire looks nice and well done (though sliding doors on bathtubs are idiotic), but the front elevation is weird. It looks like they took a bunch of random elements and copied and pasted them together. It doesn’t look like a cohesive design. Also, am I counting right and there are three kitchen-type areas?

    • interior* looks nice.

    • Agree with you on those idiotic sliding door tubs – makes it hard to bathe in them.

      • And clean them, and bathe kids in them. It’s just a totally pointless expense. What do people have against a shower curtain? I mean, I get glass doors on showers, but as someone who had a bathtub with sliding doors before, I can attest that they are a B* to clean. On top of the soap scum, you can also never get into the little crevices and rinsing out cleaning product from the rails gets water EVERYWHERE. It’s one of the biggest wastes of money.

    • Also hate what they did to the exterior of a nice house – looks like a brick colonial they are trying to make look like a bungalow with that porch entry treatment – it isn’t one.
      Don’t get me started on hating the interior more. The basement looks good for a basement apartment – but that’s the only place I like that sort of rip-out-the-walls cheap-modern-finished treatment of of the interior, because at least in the basement it is a big improvement usually.

    • west_egg

      I agree about the sliding doors on the tubs — I thought we stopped installing those in the 70’s? And the little partial glass doodad on the one upper level tub is completely pointless, you’re gonna end up needing a shower curtain anyway.
      And yes, three kitchen-type areas: main kitchen, “wet bar” in the “penthouse” and then another mini-kitchen in the “in-law suite”/”off-the-books-rental”.

      • I also thought the little glass on the tub was pointless, too, but not for the reason you mention – there’s a separate standing shower in that bathroom, so I don’t think there’s any shower in the tub.

        • west_egg

          There’s a separate standing shower in the master bathroom (which has a pointless glass thing atop the wall separating the tub from the toilet) but “upper level bath #3” (pic 22 of 30) has a shower in the tub. That’s the pointless glass doodad *I’m* referring to. Given the sheer number bathrooms in this place (all of which are questionably-appointed) it’s no wonder there’s some confusion here 😉

  • Looks great. But what’s with the crown molding bisecting the living room ceiling? Are those rafters and someone decided to draw attention to them by putting fancy molding on them? That’s the only thing I think really detracts from the rest of the house

    • Yep, hate those beams, too. Think they probably had to add them for support because they took down interior walls. You can do them above the ceiling, though, so the room spaces aren’t weirdly bisected like that.

    • Haha, I hadn’t noticed the crown molding on the beam. Now I can’t unsee it!

  • I have a really hard time believing this house is almost 3,500 sf. Also, 1.5 mil and you put down grass seed instead of sodding the backyard? C’mon, now

  • Maybe I’m wrong, but the floors look to me like laminate. For $1.45M, I’d expect hardwood floors that look like hardwood.

    • I thought the same thing. I’m assuming that at that price they are hardwood, but man, if not, what a joke. The floors just look cheap. Also, I second the notion that this house is less than the sum of its parts. It’s nice, but it just seems disjointed in some ways.

    • HaileUnlikely

      FWIW this house strongly reminds me of the one I mentioned last summer in Shepherd Park where the listing agent made guests at the open house wear booties. That one also had a lot of stuff that was nice taken by itself but didn’t really fit. It also had some majorly unimpressive workmanship – a couple of the floors were very bouncy, railing was loose, “balcony” did not seem like it was built with being walked on by adult humans in mind, etc. That one also had a very ambitious list price, sold for short of that, but still yielded a metric @sston of cash for the developer. I would not be surprised if this is the same developer, but both were no-name LLCs with different uninformative names, so can’t really tell.

    • Some of the refinished hardwood floorboards available now that you just put down and don’t have to finish look like laminate. I’m not sure I understand why this would be popular, though, as you pay for hardwood and get the look of plastic laminate.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I think the major reason they are popular is because installing unfinished hardwood, then sanding it, then staining it, and then sealing it, and then sealing it again, and again, takes a long time to do and makes a really big mess. Installing pre-finished hardwood takes about the same amount of time as installing unfinished hardwood and eliminates all of those other steps and the corresponding mess (in other words, it’s easier). I suspect that, all else equal, most buyers would rather have brand-new site-finished hardwood floors than brand-new pre-finished floors, but when you’re buying a house that’s already been built, that is not an option that the buyer gets to make, and almost all of the flips and new construction use pre-finished floors, so basically, if a buyer wants a flip or new-construction in a certain neighborhood, they’re basically at the builder’s mercy on those sorts of details, and as long as the builders are able to offload the houses, there’s not really much incentive for them to go to the extra trouble of site-finishing the floor.

  • binntp

    Style-wise, it reminds me a lot of the properties that Tarek & Christina do on Flip or Flop. Like the developers think, “People like XX feature!” and they throw it in, but the overall effect seems a bit soulless.

    • I had the EXACT same thought about Flip or Flop! Like meh, not a s***hole, but not how I would have designed it.

    • I got tired of Flip or Flop soooo quickly because of that. The design approach always seemed to be, “we can do gray, with an accent of dark gray, with some white, and then some gray…”

  • This is meant to LOOK like high-end craftsmanship, but I’m not seeing it. Slapping on mid-range finishes using trendy design elements doesn’t mean it was actually done all that well. I recognize a lot of that tile as mid-range from HD, and those look an awful lot like IKEA cabinets. That walkway and retaining wall are a future mess waiting to happen; the thin slate is going to crack or start flaking with freeze/thaw cycles, but these craftsmen didn’t want to pay for brick and bluestone.

    • west_egg

      IKEA cabinets are pretty nice, actually.

      • My contractor, who is not a low-end kinda guy, said they were pretty quality products with good hardware.

        • I’ve had them – the cabinet boxes are quality, and long-lasting. Mine were installed when there were a few door options that were completely solid wood, and mine had one of those options – they’ve all been discontinued in the years since. I would never install Ikea doors – they can wear and I like long-lasting stuff – but there are companies that make wood doors specifically to fit Ikea cabinet boxes that I would use if renovating a kitchen, as I like the cabinet box quality.

      • They are nice at that price level (I installed them in my place!), but they are not high-end. At $1.4 I’d want cabinet grade plywood boxes and custom solid wood fronts. As detailed below, this is a tarted up cheap flip. The lack of detail from PIVS shouts “Run away!”

  • Yeah there is no way. A gorgeous Victorian closer to the metro sat on the market for months and settled at like 1.1 ( These people are crazy…there are several nice (flipped) single family homes in the immediate area that have been sitting on the market between 750-1M.

    • Wow. There’s no way this thing is going for list if that Lawrence St. house only settled at $1.14 million.

  • I tried to look at the listing but could not tear my eyes away from the agent’s photo. What is going on there.

    • all that’s missing is a cigar

    • jim_ed

      Scoff all you want, I’ll be the one laughing as we leisurely float from listing to listing in his hot air balloon.

    • Andie302

      I looked at the photo because of your comment and then realized what’s going on here. This listing agent is notorious for listing things way over market. I think he gets listings by telling people that their property is worth more than it is, and then they sit longer than anything else on the market. I’m sure he doesn’t mention this in his listing presentation. I doubt the statistics are public, but I bet his days on market versus the average listing agents is double or triple, if not more.

  • This house might be a million dollar gamble. PIVS only shows a temporary pending final inspection and 1 scheduled but not approved electrical inspection.

    • This developer flipped the house next door to me and got shut down for long periods of time for lack of permits and work that was not up to code. Also, they’d work for a month, then stop when they ran out of money, then work again when they flipped another house and got some income. The surface quality of the work was good, but the behind the scenes stuff was sketchy at best.

    • Whoa — given that and what Morton says, I’d be VERY wary.

      • Because you know “Morton” to be a reliable source? I have no dog in this fight. I would just be wary of anonymous comments on a blog. The permit thing is easily verifiable. But someone’s subjective commentary on the reason why a developer stopped working on one project for some period of time is exactly that – a subjective commentary. Pretty much every complete reno that I have seen in my hood has days or even weeks of inactivity. So I don’t find anything shady about that.

  • Outrageous price, but as always the market decides. My guess is it goes for much closer to $1 M

  • MY wife and I were walking by yesterday during their open hours and not a soul was to be found anywhere nearby.

  • I wouldn’t pay $1.4 million to live in that house (or any SFH) in Brookland. But it is an exceptionally nice house.

  • Big warning to any potential buyer: The listing realtor is absolutely an awful person to deal with. He is unprofessional, insulting, and lies about his own obligations. Thankfully, our realtor handled him ok, but it was a miserable process purchasing a home he listed.

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