I don’t usually make it as far out as AU Park, but I’ll make an exception for this gem. There’s a lot to be said for living in a college neighborhood, and I’m not just talking about the easy availability of terrible overpriced weed. College neighborhoods always have the same things: organic grocery stores, liquor/wine stores, a high degree of walkability, nice quiet ivy-covered houses for the professors, and shops where you can sell secondhand electronics and/or your own blood for quick cash. This neighborhood checks every box, so sign your mortgage with the confidence that, even if you lose your job, you could probably still swing the monthly payment just by walking down to the main strip a few times a week to sell your plasma. (Better yet, find a lender who will take your payments in blood.)
This beautiful brick home is set up atop a landscaped plateau, so if civilization collapses and a mob of starving zombies rushes your house, you’ll be able to fend them off with lances. (For a while.) Inside, the all-white family room gets a ton of natural light, and features a beautiful brick fireplace; the space flows into a bright sunroom-slash-den that’s perfect for reading or lounging, or doing what my mother did with our den when I was growing up, which was to set up a flawless layout of antique furniture, ceramic figurines, and fine rugs, and then forbid the family from ever entering the room for any reason, ever, under threat of severe punishment. (“My mother cared about theoretical imaginary people more than her actual family” is how I described it to my therapist. Not that I’m bitter.)
The living room (like the den) is wood-paneled, with wood beam ceilings to give it a sort of Swiss ski chalet vibe. This wood-paneled room flows into the kitchen, which features so much wood that it might have been carved out of a single huge block of wood. Now, many of you are looking at the photos and thinking renovate, but I dunno, something about all this wood paneling is sort of appealing. You know the first time you saw, probably in the past 18 months or so, a girl wearing high-waisted, baggy Nineties-style jeans, and after years of nonstop skinny jeans, they struck your eye simultaneously as the ultimate aesthetic travesty, but also excruciatingly fresh and new? That’s how I feel about this kitchen. After so many all-white, minimalist kitchens, all these brown wood cabinets and checkerboard tiles are like a brave artistic statement. I’d keep it as is. (But keep in mind I had an ironic mullet for like five years, so yeah.)
There’s a formal dining room where you and your family can eat and exchange terse small talk like strangers at a baggage claim (only over and over for years on end), and the den (yes, it’s wood-paneled) features an entire long wall of built-ins, so you no longer have to keep your books stacked next to your bed, where your cat occasionally brushes up against them at night and sends them tumbling down onto your head. (Yes, this is the book organization system I use.) Upstairs, the master bedroom is big enough for four California Kings arranged into a huge bed-square (don’t tell me it doesn’t sound enjoyable), and has a small sitting room and tons of closet space. The master bath is perfectly fine and reasonable; no, it doesn’t have a massive glass-walled shower, but that shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re planning on reenacting “Caligula” in there.
The basement is fully finished and quite large. In another era it would’ve been a great “rec room,” but in 2017 it’s more likely to be “the indefinite home for your adult child who majored in English against your advice.” And finally, there’s the fantastic backyard. The main space is a sprawling flagstone patio, which is surrounded by tiered landscaping and privacy fences. There’s even a small pond, which the listing describes as perfect for “party time.” I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like code for something that involves nudity and/or your neighbors angrily calling the police. Count me in.
4704 Alton Place NW
5 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy Tower Hill Realty, 301-857-1867