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GDoN “meticulously renovated” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth February 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm 64 Comments

208 Elm St NW

This house is located at 208 Elm Street, NW. OP writes:

“When the house was bought it was almost original. Like museum original, not what incredible charm original. Probably wouldn’t have been very comfortable to live in. Sat on the market for months and the renovation took over a year. They did an amazing job but the price is truly staggering!”

The MRIS listing says:

“Welcome to this meticulously renovated home, nestled on a beautiful lot, in the heart of LeDroit Park. The high-end finishes,modern design,top of the line appliances & superior attention to detail,make this gorgeous property a serene urban oasis. This stunning home offers 3 levels including an in-law suite with a separate front entrance, a charming front porch,and a private,fully fenced back yard.”


You can see more photos here.

This 5 bed/4.5 bath is going for $1,675,000.

  • JS

    Those copper downspouts don’t stand a chance.

  • anonymous

    Nice- minus the glass staircase wall and the glass doors leading to the master. Not sure why they staged it like a beach house with the furniture.

  • houseintherear

    This is the place that had a valet stand at the open house (probably brokers’ open) last week, hehe.

  • Formerly ParkViewRes

    Ugh, this makes me sad. Almost original to nothing original? I understand not everything can be saved, but this house now has zero charm other than the outside of it. I hate the staircases, open floor plan and all the bathrooms. I don’t know if this is a good deal, but if my budget was almost $1.7 million I would not be interested in this house.

    • James W.

      Agreed, this thing is all kinds of ugly. I don’t mind that it’s not original finishes, it’s just that there’s zero sense of aesthetics. Almost as though a Lowe’s exploded and landed on the lot.

    • cyclechick

      Agreed as well – I hoped there would be some connection to the home’s history. I’ve never understood why people want to do this to an older home, especially when it’s going to look horribly dated in 5 seconds. Just go for new construction instead. Hard pass.

      • stacksp

        The thing with new constructions are they are hardly ever located within the fabric of a community such as this so technically this is the new construction

    • saf

      Amen. This is not renovated, this is gutted and remodeled.

  • stacksp

    Just need a place to park the S Class Mercedes

  • Anon

    Love the exterior, hate the interior.

  • Tsar of Truxton


  • msty

    Glass doors into master bathroom? Whatever happened to leaving a little mystery in a relationship? Agree with previous comment re: if budget is $1.7 mil, this wouldn’t be what I am looking for…

    • Bloomy

      the toilet is in a separate room… i think this is ok…


    Seems nice enough…definitely not my style at all. I am not a fan of the faux marble/real marble floors in the kitchen – ugh. I know I am a weirdo outlier because supposedly everyone loves marble…but I think it looks super tacky.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      No, I am totally with you. I hate the marble floor in the kitchen and feel like it’d be a nightmare to keep clean.

    • msus

      Even my marble loving wife had no interest in putting it on the kitchen floor when we renovated it. Not practical at all, and yes, looks very tacky IMO.

      I think the interior won’t age well at all. Will look dated pretty quickly.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    I kinda like it. But I’m thinking kitchen island with pendant lighting is going to be so retro so soon. And copper flashings – aren’t they a neon light for robbery?

    • Anon

      Or the 1.7m asking price…

    • wdc

      Kitchen islands are going to be retro? Why now, and not in the last 40 years since they became standard?

      • AE

        Think she was referring to the pendant lights, not the island

  • anonymous

    That’s not a renovation, it’s a gut job.
    Also, my knees and hips hurt just thinking about standing on that floor to cook.

    • DF

      Why would it feel different from any other surface? Are you one of those people who things it’s “softer” running on pavement vs concrete?

      • James W.

        The difference between standing on marble vs. wood, cork, linoleum, etc. is pretty significant. Also, the smallest amount of moisture on a marble floor makes it as slick as walking on ice. It’s fine in the kitchen if you just have a marble fetish. In terms of practicality it’s ridiculous.

  • textdoc

    I do not like those Lucite/Plexiglas/whatever things in lieu of proper stair banisters.
    It looks like in one of the bathrooms, the toilet paper holder is mounted on the wall a couple of feet ABOVE the toilet. What the heck?
    Also, it looks like the door to the master bathroom is a sliding clear door. Whatever happened to privacy, not to mention the desire to keep steam, etc. _inside_ the bathroom?

    • T

      Re: Toilet paper holder, I think that’s actually meant to hold a towel: http://www.homedepot.com/b/Bath-Bath-Accessories-Bathroom-Hardware-Towel-Rings/N-5yc1vZcfvo

      • wdc

        Home depot finishes in a $1.7M house. Figures.

    • stacksp

      2nd privacy related comment. The heat from the shower creates a spa like atmosphere and fogs up the door I assume. As far as using the toilet, that is a separate argument.

      • kanon

        And then the seam leaves streaks on the door. Unless I had a daily cleaning lady, I could not live with the glass bathroom door or banister. And omg if you had dogs!!! Imagine all the dog nose marks. Or kids. I don’t particularly hate the finishings, but definitely not to my taste. But a beautiful exterior.

    • anon

      +1 on all accounts. Those glass stair guards (can’t call them a bannister) are AWFUL. What happens if you fall and actually need to grab onto something? I can see that going very badly.
      Looks like they used a sliding shower door as the entrance door to the master bath. We have one just like that for our shower…in a bathroom with a real door. What’s the point of even having that since it’s completely clear? I really dislike this trend of no door/clear door to the bathroom. Do couples have to share EVERYTHING now?! Personally, I need privacy in the bathroom and so does my wife (guess we’re not hip!).

      • Anonymous

        “What happens if you fall and actually need to grab onto something?”
        There is a handrail for just that reason.

      • James W.

        I’m more concerned about wiping all the snot, drool, and handprints off those things from having small children.

  • Angry Parakeet

    Just a block away from the large scary garden apartment complex and the subsidized high rise – I’ve been both places repeatedly (for work-and only during the day) and they are dangerous.

    • Anon Cookie

      Does anyone know whats going on with that complex? It seems like such a bizarre complex in the neighborhood and super seedy.

      • stacksp

        Assuming that your are referring to Le Droit Park Apartments, it was there long before anything else around it by a long shot so I guess it has to be bought by some developer and repurposed like everything else.

        Im sure someone else will take the time to google the ownership and all of that but its older if not as old as 640 on Morton St. Essentially the same situation.

      • Anon

        Yea, I’d rather be further detached from that complex/high-rise. There have been quite a few issues related to the activity on W street.

  • Chemie

    Live in LeDroit Park, renovated my house. We kept as much of the original detail as we could. I prefer that over the open look. But… when I walked in this place I loved it! If you are going to go for the open look, this is it. If your opinion is based on the pictures, seeing in person might change your mind. This house was cut up pretty bad and the investor probably had little choice. Finding a buyer that could bring it back to the original… hmm good luck

    • Anon

      I remember the old house – this was a total gut job if I’m not mistaken. The old property was in quite horrible condition.

    • anonymous

      I’m now in my third row house since having first bought. I’ve started out in traditional layout style in the first, the second was a little more open- but my current one is by far the best- totally open. It fits to my lifestyle and I have gotten only positive feedback from guests. One thing is my home is deep so I have several living areas.

  • wdc

    Everything about this place screams style over substance. Did the developers ever expect anyone to LIVE here??
    That textured backsplash is going to collect crud in a hot second. The clear stair guard is always going to be dirty. The marble kitchen floors are going to need to be covered in cushioned rugs if you plan to cook at all. And don’t plan on ever having two things going on at once… want to listen to music while you’re cooking? Nope. Your spouse is working in the living room. Want to chat with your friends at the dining table? Nope, your roommate wants to watch the game in the living room. Have kids? Ha! Prepare to get super familiar with every ping and pow and laugh track of every insipid game/toy/tv show they like, FOREVER.

    • Anon

      Something about the $1.7m asking price tells me your roommate scenario isn’t too likely.

    • navyard

      And if you’re paying that much for a house, you’re going to pay a house cleaner too.

      • tke98

        Based on the convo last week, about million dollar homes and who can afford them, it seems, some folks are stretching themselves to purchase a million dollar home. Arguably the person(s) who buys this home may not have extra money for a daily/weekly house cleaner to maintain the boatload of stuff in there that will need maintaining.

  • AnonV2

    Way, WAY overpriced for the market. I don’t know if they are taking a flyer on this one of if they’ve really sunk that much into it and need to recoup. I would be shocked if this went for close to asking. There are a couple of blocks in Ledroit/Bloomingdale that might support this price, but this ain’t one of them.

  • Neighbor

    I really like the inside–it’s beautiful, IMO, and huge. And the backyard looks really nice too, though for that price I’d also like off street parking. Very interested to see what it goes for!

  • exiledinarlington

    I know that the general rule is to use neutral colors – they sell better. But this whole place is a sea of light grey. If I bought it, I’d have to add in some contrast ASAP

  • Rich

    A collection of decorating ideas in search of a house. Actually, they should just buy a minim-mansion in the ‘burbs and be done with it.

  • neighbor

    I have been similarly baffled by this listing. I do not think this block is nice enough for this price point. This house is one house away from the corner bodega, Cookie’s Corner. Lots of Howard dorms and student housing around, NO parking. If this is the price they need in order to make money off this venture, then I fear they made the house “too nice” for the location, if that makes sense.

    I’m fascinated to see what happens with it. I just can’t imagine someone with a $1.7 budget wants a place on this block with no parking….

  • Pleasanter

    Is that a brick oven in the kitchen?!

    • James W.

      I was wondering the same… I’m guessing it’s functional since the chimney seems to run up through the second floor. That said, it seems a pretty frivolous inclusion and I can’t imagine anyone with the kind of lifestyle to choose such a house would also be into seasoning hardwood and tending an open fire for an hour or two.

    • Bloomy

      toured this place last night… yup, a pizza oven.

  • dude

    i am really surprised that no one has commented on the wood fired stove in the kitchen though maybe i missed it. does the fireplace in the living room work too? i live in ldp and have a fireplace in my kitchen that has been built over. i guess if i had the choice turning it into a wood fired stove makes more sense. i don’t think i’ve seen that before, its thoughtful.

    • dude

      i meant wood fired oven not stove – i don’t cook. and now see that there was a comment

    • navyard

      I was wondering why if they just refinished everything there were soot stains on the brick — especially if it was a faux oven (because a basket is there right now). Didn’t even occur to me that it might be real.

      • Bloomy

        It’s real, and they already painted over the stains.

  • LedroitTigah

    This is INSANE! I think this might be one of the homes that was built by MANNA (great program). A friend of mine from the neighborhood just sold her MANNA home (smaller than this one, and not renovated) for a million less than this, but it has the same look to it from the outside. If you look at the pricing history on this place on redfin, it was bought in feb 2016 for 625k! The markup is ridiculous! As a local resident (and homeowner), you’d think Id be happy with their aggressive pricing strategy, but I think theyre just shooting themselves in the foot by going this high. And they went with the Samsung fridge! for this price, Id at least want Wolf or Viking (haha — but I’m serious!)

    • dude

      definitely not a manna house. manna houses have no basement and utilities are on the main floor. i could see how you might mistake it though as its on the same block.

  • Anon

    Who wants to play over/under on this one? Let’s put it at $1,550,000. I’ll go under.

    • dude

      i’m biased because i live in the neighborhood, but i think someone might go over on this. and are they really going to price drop by more than $125k? i think they’d rather just wait and find someone who likes the style. at the same time, interest rates are going up so they might not want to wait too long. and lots of inventory in ldp is becoming available. its a tough call.

    • James W.

      I have no idea what the house looked like before renovation, but it sold exactly one year ago for $625,000. So either someone dropped nearly a million bucks on a reno (very doubtful in a house of that size and finish), or someone is looking to make several hundred thousand profit on the flip. If this thing goes for more than $1.2M I’d be surprised.

      • LedroitTigah

        It will def go for more than 1.2m, but not as high as ask. A much smaller place a block over and in much worse condition (the roof was shot, for example), but with great curb appeal, went for $1.1m. (Popville listed it as ‘a magical unicorn’ or something on GDoN)

        • James W.

          Yeah I don’t know… I’m looking at, say, 2010 Flagler Place, which sold for about $1.1M and is a pretty similar property (5BR, 3.5 ba, ~3,000sf, recent reno). I just don’t know how you squeeze another half mil out of this particular property. I get that a lot of people “stretch” into million dollar properties, in large part due to rentable English basements, but even assuming you have the $340K for 20% down, you’re looking at a nut of over $7,000 a month in mortgage/taxes/etc. The potential buyers with $100K a year to blow on housing is quite small, even in DC.

          • Homebuyer

            I been in the house.. and the house is beautiful.. extremely spacious than a typical DC home. The house is practical, especially in the basement. The basement is truly laid out as a nice size condo unit. In which you can do Airbnb or rent it out for 2000 or more a month. I do love the enclosed backyard that flows into the kitchen.. the kitchen is amazing especially if you are into having dinner parties. And who has a freaking pizza oven in the kitchen. I’m in LOVE! I have been searching for homes and I think this is one of the best homes for the price anywhere in DC . I wish it wasn’t out of my budget. Comparison with comps I will be surprise if they don’t get close to their asking price. Damn I love this home

          • James W.

            Good luck getting >$2,000 a month for a basement 1BR in LeDroit.

    • LedroitTigah

      Id say slightly under $1.5, but not by much (given prices in ledroit, which have been crazy lately)


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