Sundays With Strangers


It’s weird going up to Petworth after looking at so many places further south, in Logan and Shaw.  After noting the price (well under half a million), and doing a quick walkthrough of the ground level, I asked the agent if they’d had offers on the upper and basement units yet.  It took me a moment to realize that no, for $485K, you get the whole house.  What?!  Don’t listen to any of those people who tell you that there are no more deals to be had in Petworth;  I suspect that immediately after they tell someone that, they get on the phone with their business partner and excitedly roll that month’s six-figure profits into two more fixer-uppers off Georgia Avenue.  There are definitely still some exceptional places at really good prices.

This place, for example.  A classic Wardman, this house is an end unit, which has several advantages.  First is the noise factor;  these houses usually have pretty thick walls, but still.  All it takes is a few mysterious bumping noises from the neighbor’s side to remind you that they could very well be silently drilling through your common wall every night and installing tiny spycams.  (People have been institutionalized for typing less-crazy sentences than that, haven’t they?)  Plus there’s the light issue.  I lived in a house very much like this, except it wasn’t a corner unit, and there were entire sections of my house that had never had sunlight touch them, ever.  Imagine what kind of weird albino vampire bacteria lived in those areas.  It’s like having the Marianas Trench as a roommate.  This place was super bright, though.  The end-unit is the rowhome equivalent to getting an exit-row seat on a plane, where you can stretch your legs out and do a 500-piece puzzle on the floor in front of you while all the other passengers, who paid the same as you, have to spend the whole flight in the “cannonball” position.

There’s a large living room, which gives onto a roomy, oblong dining room with several windows through which you could totally fling your platefuls of uneaten food (it’s called recycling, duh), which then leads to a sort of combination breakfast nook/sunroom.  Off that is the lavish kitchen, featuring granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.   This is a seriously roomy kitchen, with tons of storage and counterspace.  If you move in here and don’t cook at least three times a week, you will probably be tortured by feelings of guilt, sort of like how that unused NordicTrack taunted you from the corner until one night you loaded it into your car and dumped it in Rock Creek Park.  (Didn’t think anyone knew about that, did you?)  There’s also a pantry, where you can hide in the case of home invasion by Russian terrorists, but it’ll probably be so dusty in there that you won’t be able to stop yourself from sneezing and blowing your cover.  (Don’t worry, Steven Seagal saves you in the third act.)

Upstairs, there are four (!) bedrooms, which is an embarrassment of riches.  I don’t even know what you do with four bedrooms.  It’s like having four iPhones.  The owner’s suite features twin closets and an en suite bath, so while everyone else in the house has to put a robe on and trudge down the hallway, you can scamper nude to your bathroom.  Owner’s prerogative.  Out back is a wooden deck and a very large, fenced-in yard, so you can just put your dog back there instead of taking it out for walks and having to exchange awkward sidewalk chitchat with your neighbors.  (“Uh, if you’re going to continue scampering nude to your bathroom, at least get some curtains.”)  And finally, the lower level is a plush in-law suite;  you know you’ve made it when even your in-law suite’s kitchen has granite countertops.  Definitely mention that on your Tinder profile.  Trust me.

Also, don’t underestimate the growth potential of Petworth;  the city is pouring money into revitalizing the Georgia Avenue corridor.  Normally, anything that came after the phrase “the city is pouring money into” would rightfully elicit nothing but scoffing and rude hand gestures from me, but after the DC government turned H Street NE into a better Adams Morgan in less than a decade, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, especially when you consider how much more centrally located Petworth is, compared to H Street NE.   Basically, this house is a safer investment than Apple stock, which is another thing I also can’t afford.  Guess I’ll buy another lottery ticket instead.  (That’s how rich people do it, right?)

5614 8th Street NW
4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Baths

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