GDoN “Grand Victorian w/ 3 full levels + basement” edition

by Prince Of Petworth April 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm 39 Comments

45 Bryant St NW

This house is located at 45 Bryant Street, NW. The MRIS listing says:

“Grand Victorian w/ 3 full levels + basement inlaw suite (kitchenette, full bath, front & rear exits). Fireplace, two master suites, deck off 2nd level. Zoned HVAC. Large professionally designed private yard perfect for summer entertaining! 2 side by side parking spaces. Beautiful city views from high elevation. Near restaurants, parks, public transportation.”


You can see more photos here.

This 6 bed/4.5 bath is going for $1,349,900.

  • JS

    The reno is bland but I’m very jealous of the insanely deep back yards that some Bloomingdale streets have.

  • dcarr

    Thanks for posting, Prince.
    As the seller, I would like to highlight some features beyond the listing information:

    – The unit block of Bryant is a relatively quiet street right in the city.
    – It’s tough to find newly renovated full row houses in Bloomingdale. Most flippers now chop houses into condos to max out value. The house itself is a big canvass for a family to put their stamp on.
    – Our block has unusually big lots for the city. That enabled a big backyard AND two parking spots.

    Happy to answer any questions.

    • JMR

      “It’s tough to find newly renovated full row houses in Bloomingdale. Most flippers now chop houses into condos to max out value. The house itself is a big canvass for a family to put their stamp on.”

      That’s not true anymore. There are currently about 10 houses like this one for sale in Bloomingdale for well over a million dollars (several of which have been on the market for months), three listings for houses that were chopped into condos (but have a pretty similar square footage to your listing), and two listings for condos in traditional condo buildings for much less money and square footage.

      I live in Bloomingdale and love the qualities of the neighborhood that you and others have pointed out (quiet streets, relatively big yards, awesome neighbors, proximity to other parts of the city and so on), but a quick Redfin search tells anyone looking that your info is a little off.

      Some will complain that it’s boring or whatever, but it is nice to be able to move into a clean, newly remodeled home with exterior charm and then decide how you would like to add your touch with paint, furnishings, etc. Wishing you a quick sale on this listing! :-)

      • dcarr

        Thanks for the nice comments about the house, guess I should have been clearer. Wasn’t talking so much about what listings are current, more experience from living on the block and watching many of the old homes in this part of Bdale that get bought for scrape and turn get cut into condos. And they sell quick. We lived in a condo on First and felt real lucky when this came on the market as a whole single family home.

  • Anon

    This looks extremely ho-hum for 1.35m. Nice backyard though.

  • Anon. no. 5

    Just for the space and size of a livable house and the amount of land, I’m going to say decent deal.

    • textdoc

      Yeah, that was my gut feeling. The renovation isn’t particularly remarkable and there some things I dislike — mainly the odd shelving on either side of the fireplace, plus the busy kitchen backsplash — but for a recently renovated house this spacious in this location, I suspect the price is on target.
      I think the claim of a “kitchenette” in the in-law suite is a bit of a stretch, as there’s no stove. I’m surprised they didn’t put in a range, or at least a cooktop. What’s there now appears to qualify as a wet bar plus a fridge.
      I like the detailing over the front door, and also the fireplace with mirror/mantel.

      • MHillPark

        I’m rather confused by the “kitchenette” in the basement. Why install a kitchen island and long counter, with all that granite, without including any appliances (range, oven, microwave, dishwasher)? It just doesn’t make any sense.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          To save money. The purchaser is then forced to pay for all the appliances…

          • textdoc

            It’s not just the appliances, though — appliances can be had relatively cheaply. The buyer would need to get the necessary electrical work done to accommodate those appliances, especially since a range would need a 240V outlet rather than a regular 120V one. And there’s currently no space for a range, so the buyer would be stuck having to remove the existing lower cabinets (it looks like it’s all one unit) and countertop and having to install new cabinets/countertop.

          • textdoc

            Doubtless the homeowners saved some money by installing a less elaborate kitchen, but unless the plumbing was already there, they were already spending quite a bit for that and for the installation of the cabinets/countertop. The real cost is the labor (plumbing, electric, installation), not so much the sink/range/fridge themselves or even the cabinets/countertop.

        • textdoc

          Yeah, I don’t get it either. It looks like the basement was used as a playroom for the kid(s) (maybe a nanny share?) and as a workout space for one or more adults. But for it to be a real “in-law suite” a..k.a. not-quite-legal rental, it needs at least a cooktop (in addition to the sink and fridge it already has).

        • anonymous

          Because for appraisal/inspections- some appraisers will list it as a two-unit home( which will impact the type of loan the buyer can get/require more down payment). Most people only install the ranger after the appraisal has been complete.

          • textdoc

            Yeah, but there’s not even an empty space for a range, or the necessary 240V outlet (as far as I can tell from the photo).

        • navyard

          That’s more than enough kitchen for me. Countertop microwave and a crockpot are all I need or want. Stoves and ovens are just wasted space for me. Not everyone enjoys cooking.

          • textdoc

            “Not everyone enjoys cooking.” — That’s completely true, but the pool of renters willing to consider a place without a stove is going to be very, very small.

          • navyard

            ” the pool of renters willing to consider a place without a stove is going to be very, very small.”
            —Maybe just me and Sarah Jessica Parker. I think she used to store her shoes in the oven on SATC. :)

          • textdoc

            I almost never use my range — it’s basically like a countertop for me — but even I would balk at moving into a place that had no stove.

      • navyard

        Re: some things I dislike — mainly the odd shelving on either side of the fireplace,

        I like the shelving at the fireplace. It fits the style of the rest of the home. I do NOT like the doric columns on either side of the fireplace. Those are completely out of sync with the rest of the style/fixtures.

        On the whole, I love it and I really need to stop looking at these listings because I get so jealous!

        • Anon. no. 5

          From what I recall to have a stovetop/oven in the basement you need to have a separate CofO. No idea if this place has one. A fridge/winebar/dishwasher do not require a separate CofO.

          As for the columns beside the fireplace, those are the original details from when the house was built, as is the mirror. I agree it looks a little odd, but I like preserving original details when possible.

  • LMFB

    Nice looking house, if a little narrow. Yes, the reno isn’t exactly going to blow your hair back, but it’s nice and clean and modern enough to fit modern lifestyles while not being incongruous to the house, I think. For people balking at the price, I would suggest looking at recent sales in b’dale. Prices in this neighborhood have gone crazy, and it is hard to find a big house that hasn’t been split up.

    • Anon

      Recent $1m+ sales all have far better finishes than this house. (Save for that one around the corner on 1st St, but that was a FAR more impressive house.)

    • Guillermo Brown

      This is ‘good deal or not.’ If prices “have gone crazy,” then price balking is appropriate

      • LMFB

        I suppose I should have said, prices have gone up so much that I could not longer afford to buy in my neighborhood. What is a good deal (or at least a reasonable deal) can change.

  • MargoM

    Hmm for a million dollars that front walkup door entrance says not only bland but blank?! Why no rooftop zhushings? Why does the black gate on the front door hit you in the face before anything else, could there have been a couple of urns or planters or flower boxes available to give it that humphf I’m worth a million look distinctively different from next doors front look? Where’s the uniqueness in this project to really make someone go ‘wow, now that’s a million dollar house’?
    A little landscaping goes a long long way folks, just sayin…

    • textdoc

      What on earth is a zhushing? And why are you saying “A little landscaping goes a long way”? I see a crape myrtle (I think), irises, and shrubs in the front yard. If you have a landscaped front yard, there’s really no need for urns, planters, or flower boxes — all of which are portable and thus subject to being stolen.

      • Anon

        “What on earth is zhushing?”
        Aren’t you supposed to be pretty handy with google?

        • textdoc

          I didn’t want to confirm my fear that it was a nonsense word meaning “thing to enliven something.”
          What would even qualify as a “rooftop zhushing” — banners of draped fabric??

          • navyard

            oh textdoc. Literally just snorted at my desk!

          • Bort

            Mwahahaha, my next Scrabble opponent is TOAST. My pride seems like a small price to pay.

      • MargoM

        Meaning that the roof seems untouched or not furnished when, naturally for a cool million plus you’d expect a rooftop deck/garden pulling out all the stops. Zhushing; as in anything means giving it more than it is ‘drama’ -fluffing it up as it were, take a little look at the west coast listings of how they list their million dollar babies, you gotta wow them and make them wanna say hey, now that’s worth a million dollars and then some. In other words, anybody can go to a party plain jane but then there’s the ones that enter a knock out and kill it with -in this case, a sealed sale.
        Landscaping means getting that front crisp clear and super clean and just cut so that it stands out from the regular next door everybody else’s house look. You’re going for WOW, not meh…BTW did they do new windows that would also add interest.

        • textdoc

          “for a cool million plus you’d expect a rooftop deck/garden pulling out all the stops.” Not in Bloomingdale, I wouldn’t. Or if there were one, I’d expect its cost to be tacked on, making the price even higher.
          You don’t have to wow anybody or “add interest” if the comps support this kind of pricing. The existing historical detail over the front door and the cornice (if that’s the right term) are already making the exterior elegant — this isn’t a plain-Jane mid-1920s two-story tan-brick rowhouse in northern Petworth.
          (Not that anything is wrong with such houses. Just that they’d profit more than this one from adding flower planters or window boxes.)

    • AnonV2

      Because the threshold for “million dollar house” has already been established in Bloomingdale, and it doesn’t have much to do with the aesthetics of the property. If it’s big enough and newly renovated or well-maintained and sufficiently modernized the comps are already out there to justify this listing price. Not that it isn’t TOTALLY INSANE based on what they were worth only 6 or 7 years ago, but there you have it.

      • stacksp

        I get the buyers mentality by some that you have to be knocked off your feet by a place but the numbers dont support it. Half decent in a booming location and you get your asking price and can add your own planters and urns and fancy door or other aesthetiics. Sellers are in the business to make money and these properties sell themselves.

  • B

    This is a perfectly decent looking renovation (I agree, not over the top, but very little to nothing to criticize) – and with 6 baths and 4 bathrooms, I suspect appropriately priced. Yes, $1.3M sounds so shocking for Bloomingdale, but it’s not – prices have rapidly gone up, and it is wonderful neighborhood. My only minor gripe is the glass backsplash – yes, everyone has been doing this, and maybe that is my problem. These backsplashes are so busy, and overdone that I think they are already dated. That’s a minor nit, on an otherwise good renovation.

    • Pleasanter

      Yes, +1 on the glass tile backsplash. They already look dated to me and I cringe when I see them in home postings.

  • navyard

    If the owner reads this, may I ask did you stain or paint the handrails? and what color? I’m thinking of going dark on mine but am unsure whether to paint or stain. Preference is to stain, but only if the results will be good without too much extra work.

  • Anon. no. 5

    If we’re going to be picky it’s Edwardian, not Victorian. ::pushes up nerd glasses::

  • J

    Love this block of Bloomingdale. Close to the heart of it but without all the noise of living in the heart of it. Great back yard for a family. Tough to find this type of space, back yard and two parking spots. Like the reno. You’ll always want to put your own imprimatur on a house and this place allows for that. Good deal


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