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GDoN “Commanding corner Victorian” edition

by Prince Of Petworth January 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm 22 Comments


This house is located at 226 12th St, SE. The MRIS listing says:

“Commanding corner Victorian superbly located just 2 blocks to Lincoln Park, 4 to Eastern Market offers a 2,676 ft2 on 3 levels. Steeped in natural light from 3 exposures, features expansive &gracious living spaces, original historic features, updated baths/kitchen, radiant heat/central AC, & offers room to expand in the full basement. Enviable in size and stature, a home to cherish. Open Sun1/15”


You can see a virtual tour here.

This 3 bed/1.5 bath is going for $1,055,000.

  • JS

    There’s no way you’re getting a building permit for that basement – the ceilings can’t be anywhere close to high enough.

    • stacksp

      Beautiful place and I wouldn’t even want anyone living in that basement. Put a WaterRower machine in it like Frank Underwood and call it a day..

    • AnonV2

      That might be juuuust legal as long as you aren’t trying to convert it to a separate unit. I believe the rules are still slightly different for finishing in place vs conversion (although maybe DCRA changed the grandfathering rules, again). Could make a good rec room.

      • JS

        Is that true? I would be interested in hearing if anyone has done this (finished a basement for personal/rec room use, not a separate unit, ceiling height less than 7′ but higher than say 6’8, DCRA-issued building permit). My basement is about 6’10 and I’ve had contractors tell me there’s no way to legally do it with DCRA. If it makes any difference, the basement was finished at some point in time before being half-gutted after what appears to have been a basement flood.

        • AnonV2

          The 7′ standard used to be for everything. Now they’ve bumped that to 7’6″ (or 7’4″?) if you want to convert to a rental, but you can cover up a 7′ ceiling for an existing space for other uses. I *think* you could still get away with finishing if you left the joists exposed as they would be considered protrusions, which are allowed to be lower than the “ceiling”. It’s murky. I’ve seen this done by either cleaning up the electrical/plumbing as best as possible then spray painting everything up there black or a uniform gray to make it all blend in. I’ve also seen a clever use of the joists as exposed beams where drywall was tucked a few inches up into the joist bays just under the subfloor to create the illusion of a level ceiling. It all depends on how ugly the utilities are running in that space. Electrical is easy to clean up and tuck in a small space, huge waste pipes not so much.

          • JS

            Thanks, this is interesting to know. I’d definitely be over 7′ if I measured from floor to ceiling and not floor to bottom of joists – might be time to call DCRA again.

        • Bloomy

          I just had the whole basement (6’8″) redone… granted there was already some drywall and updates… but now there is a wet bar, “office”… also reconfigured a laundry room and existing bath. DCRA was fine – no questions.

      • neighbor

        DCRA doesn’t care about ceiling height unless you’re renting it out.

    • MadMax

      They only note that it allows “room to expand”. Not everyone wants to use their basements for supplemental income. I would love to have the extra space for wine cellar / game room / movie watching / kids play room (if I had them) / etc…

      • stacksp


      • JS

        Which is exactly what I want to use my sub-7′ basement for, and I’ve been told by contractors that DCRA will not permit the project, even if it doesn’t involve creating a bedroom. I’d be really interested to know if this is not actually the case.

        • MadMax

          Ah, gotcha, misinterpreted the reasoning behind your initial post.

        • soozles

          I’d be inclined to forgo the permit in that case, as I may do when I refinish my basement as purely extra space for TV etc. We did that in Mt. Pleasant. I did do the full permitting/inspections for the renovation of my main floor.

          This house, btw, is awesome. I’m even wondering if it’s priced a little low.

        • AMM

          I honestly wouldn’t mess with a permit if you just want to finish the walls and store wine. I have a finished basement with a low ceiling and it’s just a kids playroom. No issues.

          • Anon

            Not until you try to sell it.

  • ArchaeoG.

    I love this. I love that they kept the rooms separated and how they reused the old fireplace in the kitchen.

  • MadMax

    Gorgeous, classy, and large. I love that brick hearth over the range. I can’t imagine this lasting long at all on the market.

  • LedroitTigah

    I love it. They’ve done a nice job with the updates

  • WRH

    A lot to love– location, original features, original layout, 3 BRs that all seem decently sized. Not my taste in some of the finishes (bathroom tile, kitchen counters), and you would hope for that price you would get 2 full baths, but I think this place will still go fast.

  • Anon

    This has to go for above list, right? I live four blocks from here, and middle rowhouses that are half as large routinely sell for over a million on my block.

    • anon

      except it only has 1.5 baths. Even with decent size it’s hard to add additional baths when the historic features/layout have been preserved. Basement has possibility but it’s unfinished. This is priced about right, or possibly high. It also has minimal outdoor space and no parking. The basement also doesn’t have necessary egress for rental but it can be useful living space.

      It’s a beautiful home

      • Anon

        1.5 baths, minimal outdoor space, and no parking is normal for Capitol Hill. The houses I was thinking of when I made my comment above are generally all like that (some like mine have a second half bath squeezed in somewhere but that’s the best you can do).


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