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GDoN “Detached garage in rear built like a fortress! Alarm system paid for 3 years.” edition

by Prince Of Petworth — November 22, 2016 at 12:15 pm 39 Comments


This house is located at 1125 Oates Street, Northeast. The listing says:

“Full Gut Renovation with tons of natural light. Open Floor Plan. Bamboo floors. New heating, AC, and appliances. Gourmet Kitchen with center island, also comes with built-in wine cooler & rack. French doors off the dining room leading out the rear deck. Built-in audio system. Nest thermostat. Full English Basement. Detached garage in rear built like a fortress! Alarm system paid for 3 years.”


You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $769,000.


    Two things:
    Thing 1 – is the photo of the laundry upside-down or am I loosing my mind?
    Thing 2 – I am not really sure I would be jazzed about a house that has “built like a fortress” and “alarm system paid for 3 years” as the main selling points in the description. Does this not scream this house is not in a safe area?

    • Deebs

      The upside down laundry pic also caught my eye.

      I think if you’re looking to buy in Trinidad, you already know it isn’t the safest area of DC and would be into the security features. That being said, I haven’t been to Trinidad in a while so maybe things have changed (based on blog posts re: shootings, etc. I didn’t think so).

      This looks like an ok reno from the pictures, but 770 seems a bit high.

      • JalenRose

        That block of Trinidad is fine, first 3 blocks up from Florida Ave(Morse, Neal, Oates) are pretty decent.

        • Res

          first four, Owen is fine also, then it goes downhill at Penn, Queen, etc.

          • JT

            Agree, Owen Place is also doing great these days.

      • Truxtoner

        I am always surprised by the prices in Trinidad too, but it’s close to Union Market and H Street, so I think people know the value will hold as more and more goes in over there. To buy turnkey fully renovated with a finished basement makes me think it’ll sell in the 700Ks. It’s a 4 bedroom. That’s decent sized. It’s so hard to find a rowhome in NW or this part of NE any more for less than 800K except in Trinidad.

        • anonymous

          Trinidad will be epi center of major developements (Union Market/Gallaudet Development to the west, Bladensburg and eventually Hechinger Mall to the east, Fl/AVE is being lined with condos and apartments/H street to the south, Ivy City and the new development on New York Ave to the north.) Think long term it will do just fine.

          • As a new Trinidadian, I’m optimistic as well. My wife and I got the keys a month ago today on the northwestern edge of Trinidad feeling as if we’re paying a lot for the area as it currently is but hopeful that we’ll feel very differently 3, 5, and 10 years from now.

        • Elkhaert

          I don’t know about large, it’s a Trinidad four bedroom. The floor plans are smaller than elsewhere in DC. There might be four bedrooms, but you are only fitting a twin in at least one of them.

  • kapitolhill

    That little corner market is nowhere close to the house, hahaha.

    • ET

      I know! Its on Mass and 3rd and definitely not what the new owner would be shopping at when at the very least they can go to the Giant or even the Aldi.

  • Marty

    i do covet that garage

  • Anon x2

    I am seriously envious of that garage but good lawd that’s a lot of money.

  • Trinidad

    I think this will go for over asking price. I predict $800K easy. GOOD DEAL!

    • anonymous

      Possibly. It’s priced in line with everything that’s come on the market recently around there. Afew doors down 1143 Oates came on market at 810k and is under contract. There was another place on Neal that had a coming soon sign for the longest, never saw it hit the market – but now shows that it sold for 810k.

  • k

    This house doesn’t appear to have the appropriate inspections for a full flip (permits for new electrical, plumbing, mechanical, interior demo). According to DCRA’s PIVS they only had a plumbing inspection.

    • Elkhaert

      I’d say that and the price is a huge red flag.

      • Reilly

        How so?

        • Elkhaert

          The price seems a little under what I’d expect for a 4/3.5 with a basement unit with front and back egress and a garage. They are either looking for a bidding war (unlikely given the timing I think) or are trying to unload a dubious quality flip. Lack of roper inspections/permits also best case scenario means those systems were not touched, worst case means they did a bunch of unpermitted work and may have left huge construction errors that might burn your house down.

          That’s my take anyway, but I know I’m risk adverse.

  • Susan

    so what they are saying is the neighbourhood isn’t safe?!?

  • MadMax

    Conveniently not located near Florida Ave Grill.

  • anon

    I find this completely obnoxious. If you feel that unsafe in a neighborhood, don’t eff-ing move there. This is the worst of gentrification. Brag about your bamboo floors and gourmet kitchen somewhere else.

  • Trinidaddy

    This is a good deal. Large house, big lot, detached garage. Can possibly build an accessory dwelling on top of garage later. Plus, basement has rental potential. It will fetch around 800k I think.

    • anon

      Agreed. This house looks great.

    • Elkhaert

      I doubt you are doing an accessory dwelling with DC zoning. Isn’t this R zoned? I think you might already be at ratio.

      • Anonymous

        It is zoned RF-1, which allows two dwelling units in the principal structure or one each in the principal structure and an accessory structure.

        According to the tax records, it was purchased on May 31, 2016 for $365,000.

        • Elkhaert

          Ok, RF. So you can’t add another unit if you want to keep the basement as a separate unit. And although I’m not an expert on this, (I only just started reading about the zoning for my own house) how do you square it with this rule?

          302.3 ​Accessory dwelling units shall not be permitted in a dwelling unit in the RF-1 zone.

          It seems like any development into an acessory dwelling will need a variance, no?

          • anonymous

            How would/can the city classify the basement as a separate unit- if the interior stairs still exists/connect and there’s no proof of it rented? Cant the owner say that it’s part of the existing dwelling, thus getting permission to build an additional accessory structure? Then once that is done, close off the interior staircase and rent the basement out as well. Can end up with 2 separate rentals.

          • Elkhaert

            I mean, if you are gonna do two illegal rentals, sure. But they aren’t going to give you a certificate of occupancy for both, and I’d imagine at least one neighbor is going to report that many units.

            Also, I still read that rule as saying you can’t make the garage an accessory dwelling anyway, even if the basement is not rented. From my reading, with the new zoning the idea is you could have a shop or something and an accessory dwelling unit, not that you can build a carriage house now. But I could be wrong, I genuinely would like to know if I am misinterpreting the rules.

    • margaret

      Exactly!! The description of the “safety” measures are insulting. I live on one of the “bad” streets in Trinidad. I do not worry about safety — I say hi to everyone hanging out on the street – I respect that this is a neighborhood and people have been living here for generations. Yes, there is crime in this area. But your neighbors will look out for you if you treat them with neighborly friendliness and respect.

  • BenTrinidad

    Around the corner from my rowhouse. There has been quite a bit of construction/flips on this street. I too expect this to go over $800k based on similar sale prices. Maybe they’re looking for a bidding war? The security feature is a little blaring, but I haven’t had any issues living in the neighborhood. However, the streets a few blocks up from Oates continue to have crime plaguing the neighborhood.

    Look forward to meeting my new neighbors!

  • smh

    What is the target market for this? What person who is extremely security conscious and risk averse and can afford a house that costs over $750k would live in Trinidad when they could live in an area with much lower crime, closer to the metro? The only type that comes to mind is a DC employee who already has kids in a charter school and doesn’t mind driving.

    • k

      As a DC gov employee I can tell you we can’t afford a 750K to 800K house.

    • navyard

      Well, with a garage like that, the target market is definitely someone who drives A LOT. So, I think smh nailed it.

    • Does a garage built like a fortress infer very risk averseness? I didn’t take it that way, but I guess I see why others might. And does a 3-year security system mean very security conscious? I would’ve loved the paid 3-year plan since I planned on installing the system anyways myself.
      My wife works for a member of Congress and I work in finance in the Montomgery County. We were interested in moving to a neighborhood in NE from Adams Morgan and found Trinidad to feel more neighborhoodsy than other parts of the city and we felt our dollar went much further. We understand what owning in Trinidad means. We also want to be part of a community striving to make the neighborhood better.

    • stacksp

      The school angle hits home for me. It would be hard for me to spend that kind of cash and still have to play Russian roulette with the lottery system unless I had already hit the jackpot. We are a 2 car, daily driver household so I do appreciate the garage. I don’t think the garage necessary implies anything outside it being a luxury item that many would appreciate.

  • soozles

    When I look at the back of a flip, and it only has one tiny window winking at you through the vinyl siding, I assume the developer was cheap in other areas as well. That’s a shame to be too cheap to put in more windows.

  • MercTrinidad

    We bought our house on Morse Street in Fall of 2013. Couldn’t comment on weather its a good deal our not but 750-800K seems to be the going rate for houses of this size in the first four or so blocks above Florida Ave. So glad we bought when we did. Couldn’t afford to buy in Trinidad today. As for the crime we’ve never had any issues and we really enjoy living here.

    • MercTrinidad

      *going rate for newly remodeled homes


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