I have this group of friends who all own houses in Petworth, and they send out a weekly group email breathlessly reviewing the latest sales and real estate news about their neighborhood. When a house recently closed above a million dollars (a first for Petworth apparently), the group erupted into vicious bickering; some people thought this meant their beloved neighborhood was about to be torn asunder by speculators, while others thought it was a past-due acknowledgement of their neighborhood’s desirability. And a third group openly started to plan how they were going to spend their impending riches. (Pontoon boats and college for their future kids were the most popular ideas.)
Personally, though, I’m sort of puzzled that the million-dollar barrier wasn’t shattered long ago. Petworth houses are generally very nice, and very spacious – they’re basically superior versions of the Shaw rowhome – and the neighborhood is close to all the best neighborhoods to hang out in, the ones where when your friends ask you if you want to have a drink there, you say yes, instead of being like, “I’d love to but I, uh, stepped in a … rabbit hole today and broke my, uh, ankle, or something? Oh hey my phone’s dying gotta go!”
This house is a perfect example of the Petworth rowhome; I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a bidding war and it closed above a million. (Crazy that we’re in a place now where “a million dollars” sounds like a reasonable and even small sum.) The wide porch is as large as the average New York one-bedroom; it’s the perfect space to sit on a summer evening and judge your neighbors. (“Oh look, they’re having another baby, that’s just what the world needs!”) Inside, the living room is a grand space for entertaining; the decorative columns give it the flavor of a Greek temple, and the gleaming hardwood floors and pocket doors are like a burly man grabbing you by the back of the neck and screaming “WOODWORK!” into your ear. (In a good way.) The kitchen sports marble counters and more cabinet space than you’ll ever reasonably use, unless you believe the conspiracies they talk about on AM radio. There isn’t, technically, a formal dining room, but there’s a large amount of space, adjacent to the kitchen, as well as farther on, next to the glass doors which open onto the rear deck, that you could reasonably use as a dining room or two. (What a lightning bolt of inspiration that would be – two dining rooms! What family doesn’t have at least two warring cliques?!)
Upstairs, the master bedroom has a crap-ton of storage – not only closet space but also built-in cubbyholes that you could fill with stuff that you would promptly forget you even owned until you moved. The master bath sports twin basins and enough marble that it would be like taking a shower in a quarry. Beyond that, the other bedrooms are spacious and bright (if you end up buying this house as a result of reading this blogpost, you are morally obligated to let me live in one of them, rent free), and out back is a wonderful wooden deck where you can sit and drink wine with your friends until your neighbors stealthily emit foul odors from their windows until you go back inside. (Something I actually did at my own house – it helps if you’re a bachelor with a fridge filled with months-old takeout containers. Putting a year-old salad on the windowsill will drive your neighbors inside in minutes. It’s like the polar opposite of the cooling apple pie on the windowsill you see in all those Norman Rockwell paintings.)
The metro is just a block or two away, so if you’re ever like, “I sure would like to get harassed and/or repeatedly elbowed in the kidney/lower back region,” that experience is only five minutes away. And one of my favorite restaurants in DC – Chez Billy – is just around the corner; take a first date there and they might even forget about your OkCupid photo in which you’re dressed up as Gandalf. Also, Petworth’s best days are ahead of it, unlike other “hot” neighborhoods (Bloomingdale, Shaw, Mt. Pleasant, etc), that have basically hit their ceiling. The DC government is determined to make Georgia Avenue the next H Street, which means they’re basically going to hover over the neighborhood in cargo helicopters and parachute bales of hundred dollar bills down until coffee shops and farmer’s markets appear. There’s even a plan for a Georgia Avenue streetcar, though that may be on the chopping block now that the other streetcar spontaneously bursts into flames every time they do a practice run; regardless, this neighborhood is a better investment than Apple stock. And yes, I might be intentionally trying to lure in speculators to ruin the neighborhood and drive out my friends, whose impending wealth-slash-pontoon-boat-ownership I’m openly jealous of.
4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Baths