This house is like when one of your friends starts dating someone who sounds like the worst person on earth (“He used to be a DJ, but now he’s going to school to study finance!”) and then when you meet them, they’re so inoffensive that you end up loving them. They’re benefiting from low expectations. I felt sort of that way about this house; from the outside, it looks like a boring, nondescript Georgetown Federal, just like a million other ones in the neighborhood. But inside, it’s actually pretty cool! A lot of these Georgetown houses are so “historic” that they’re obligated by law to retain the wig racks and spittoons of the original inhabitants, but this one felt very modern(ish).
The living room is bright and features authentically weathered hardwood floors. (I can’t believe we live in an era when one has to note whether something is “authentically” weathered or not.) There’s an antique fireplace and a ton of built-ins, perfect for displaying figurines and collectible plates that your children will throw directly into the garbage after you pass on. There’s a dining room (or a sitting room, if you like) with yet another fireplace, and then through an arched doorway (feels a little Californian, in a good way), you come to the gourmet kitchen. The kitchen itself is perfectly fine – granite countertops, stainless steel appliance, et cetera. The master stroke is the addition they’ve built onto the kitchen, which is a brick-floored, skylit sun room. This is the first time I’ve ever seen indoor brick floors, and I have to say, I really liked them. It was kind of like that scene in Inception when the building rotates around and the ceiling is the floor and the floor is the ceiling. Just don’t slip, or your head will crack like a melon dropped from a helicopter. A set of French doors leads to the beautiful landscaped garden in back; think of it as a peaceful space that’s perfect for contemplation, or a huge roaring furnace that you’ll be steadily shoveling money into forever. Either way, you’d be right.
Upstairs, the bedrooms are warm and inviting, and also sport a ton of built-ins; I guess people in the Federal era needed a lot of storage, what with all their musket balls and untaxed tea and wooden teeth. Those aren’t really things you can just toss on the floor like a pair of old jeans. Further up, there’s a massive attic that could be a really cool bedroom if you had it renovated. As it is, it would be good for storage, or taking a uncooperative child up there and whispering into its ear while pointing into the dark spider-webbed recesses, “if you don’t keep asking ‘who’s that?’ during Game of Thrones, the troll who lives up here is going to come downstairs tonight and eat your toes.” Also, it’s an end unit, so you only have to hear intimate neighbor noises from one side. From the other side, you get to hear drunk dudes in polo shirts “whooing,” since it’s just a stone’s throw from Wisconsin Avenue. And finally, a tip – according to the listing, the seller is providing a home warranty. Not sure what that means, but my scammer sense tells me this might be a prime opportunity to live there for free and then move out on the 90th day and ask for your money back. (This advice is coming from someone who once wore a designer shirt to a high school dance with the tags tucked inside so I could return it the next day and use the money on, uh, “glaucoma medicine.”)
3213 Volta Place NW
3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms