You know, I usually go to one of the most expensive open houses, if only because they generally have better snacks. Also, as a long-haired guy who’s often visibly hungover, it’s actually more plausible for me to be looking at a mansion than a starter home; from the agent’s perspective, there’s an outside chance that I could be some kind of horrible Martin Shkreli/Mark Zuckerberg type who fell into money, but there’s zero chance that I’m a decent citizen looking to settle down. I’ve seen agents at nice, modest $750K rowhomes physically block me from approaching the boxed wine. But I decided to check this place out because a friend of mine is looking at places and this one caught his eye, and I have to admit I was pretty charmed.
It’s an end-unit rowhouse, which means you’ll only possibly hear one set of neighbors having sex. It has an interesting layout inside; not quite open, and slightly narrower than the Shaw model of rowhouse. This living room probably can’t accommodate an overstuffed leather sectional sofa, but that’s a good thing, because overstuffed leather sectional sofas are the Hummers of furniture. There’s also a fine gas fireplace in the living room, which means that while your fires will be super efficient and easy to start, you’ll probably wake up at least twice a month in the middle of the night, rigid with fear, convinced you smell a gas leak. Further on is a nice little kitchen that’s probably still too big if you’re like me and either rarely cook, or only cook the same thing over and over. (When I was looking for apartments, I hunted far and wide for one with no kitchen, but weirdly they don’t exist.) Up the staircase in the living room, there are two master bedroom suites on the second floor, both of them extremely generous. Each has a bedroom and then an equally-sized anteroom which you could use for an office, a large dressing room, a lounge, or, since it’s 2016, a marijuana grow room. (The second master bedroom’s sunroom would actually be pretty perfect for this.) I don’t think I’ve ever seen a setup quite like this, but it really should be the standard. I mean, cohabitation is impossible when you share a bedroom, and only just barely tolerable when you have your own separate bedrooms but shared common spaces. If you each had your own bedroom AND a secondary room where you could dump your clothes or play Xbox until 3am, your relationship’s chances of success go way up, though keep in mind that “success” could mean you and your significant other coldly greeting each other after work before heading to your separate bedroom suites. (Still better than my parents’ marriage.)
Downstairs, the basement is rentable as a separate apartme – oh wait, no it’s not. In a city where even the most squalid, airless crawlspaces rent to some hapless intern for $1750 a month (and the city will turn a blind eye), I have to say, it’s sort of a relief to see a basement that doesn’t have any pretensions towards habitability. It’s just a cold bare concrete-floored room with low ceilings and exposed wires everywhere. A basement like this spares you the bother of trying to rent it out; while a tenant can help pay off the mortgage, it’s legitimately stressful to have a stranger in the basement of your house, silently releasing personal odors and flushing balled-up socks down the toilet. (All the landlords reading this just nodded knowingly.) Outside, at the rear of the house, is a flagstone patio and a small yard, and a brick walkway leading to a garage. If I bought this house, I’d come to the closing with a crane and wrecking ball, and this garage would be a smoking pile of rubble before the ink dried on the contract. We both know backyard barbecues will give you 1000% more pleasure in life than being able to skip street parking.
425 9th Street NE
2 Bedrooms, 1.5 Baths