Sometimes I go to these open houses, and I can tell that most of the other people there are people who might realistically buy the property. In these instances, I always feel a little guilty, because they assume I’m also a prospective buyer, and my presence is making them even more anxious than they were before. I used to try and “dress down” to make it clear that I wasn’t “in the game,” so to speak, but this had the opposite effect since people assumed that anyone with so little regard for their personal appearance could only be some kind of Larry David-level billionaire. I’m pretty sure that the one time I wore sweatpants and flip flops to the open house, I made a woman cry because she assumed I was about to steal her dream home with a cash offer.
But then there are the places like this, where everyone is just there as a gawker. People who can afford $6.75 million estates don’t even go to open houses; I’m pretty sure that if you pooled the networths of every single person who came through this open house, we still wouldn’t be able to buy it. I told this to the agent there, but he just looked at me like, why are you talking to me? Anyway – the house. This is a very nice house. This is a $7 million house. It was built back in 1929 by Christian Heurich, a philanthropist – a guy who literally had so much money that his job was to give away money. It’s in Massachusetts Avenue Heights, which is a neighborhood that nobody knows exists, which is just how you want it if you’re a $7 million house type of person. If you lived in a central neighborhood that everyone knows about, like Columbia Heights or something, people would line up outside your house every morning to ask you for an interest-free loan.
The listing describes this property as an “estate,” which I guess is accurate. The front and rear grounds are huge; you could host a high school football game on these grounds, bleachers included. The front door is an immense iron portcullis that could keep an army out (“GIVE ME AN INTEREST-FREE LOAN RIGHT NOW!!!”) . You enter into a huge foyer that leads to a living room that’s just as massive as you might expect. There’s an antique fireplace – the house is loaded with period details, even though it was recently renovated – a sprawling windowseat, and French doors that lead out to the rear garden. The French doors are actually right across from the fireplace, so if you go on a trip and leave your teenager here, there is approximately a 95% chance that they’ll throw a party and that someone will drunkenly sprint through the doors, slip on a rug, and plunge full speed into a roaring fire. Hopefully someone’s taking video with their phone because I really want to see that. There’s also a cavernous family room with a louvered ceiling so you can do all the stuff in here that you can’t, for some reason, do in the living room. I’ve never understood the need for a family room and a living room, unless it’s so different family members can watch different TV shows at the same time, which is definitely a good reason and an issue that could literally tear a family apart. My dad once threw a shoe at our TV because my sister and I turned it to “MTV Cribs” while he was watching PBS.
There’s a huge curved sunroom where you can relax in the soothing warmth of the sun and age at 120% of the normal rate, and a massive formal dining room where all your family members can compete at Thanksgiving to see who can kiss up to you more, in hopes of making it into the will. The kitchen is very nice, with polished hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances; there’s even a glass-front refrigerator, which is one of those things that seems so sensible and obvious now, but that no one ever thought of for the longest time, like hating Tom Cruise. The master bedroom upstairs is like the nicest one bedroom apartment in the world was grafted onto the nicest mansion in DC. There’s a fireplace and full sitting room area across from the bed, a walk-in closet that’s pretty much as opulent as Sharon Stone’s in “Casino,” and the bath sports twin basins and a massive soaking tub that could accommodate way more people than could reasonably have a satisfying sexual encounter together. (Never know til you try, though.) The lower level is a fully finished recreation room, and there’s even a wine cellar, which is especially nice because every single time I go to the wine store I end up buying one or two of those single-serving Jagermeister bottles they sell next to the register. Out back is a flagstone patio that overlooks the landscaped rear grounds and, beyond them, Rock Creek Park, which actually looks kind of sloppy and unkempt side by side with the estate grounds, and there’s a two-car garage, if you’d like to contribute towards slowly suffocating and murdering the aforementioned park. Also, you have the option of buying this house fully-furnished, which is, yes, super lazy, but on the other hand, who hasn’t walked into a store before and been like, “I’m going to buy the exact head-to-toe outfit that mannequin is wearing.”