I visited my eccentric prepper dad recently, and I was leaving for the airport, he pressed a small package into my hand. In the car I opened it to find some kind of “As Seen On TV”-type water-purifying straw. “You can drink any water through it and not get sick,” he told me when I emailed him later, asking why he’d given it to me. “Standing puddles, river water, scummy pond water. You’ll be glad you have it when civilization collapses.” I thought of that email when I looked over this beautiful Berkley home, with its expansive view of Georgetown Reservoir. If the streets descend into mob rule, you can charge all your friends two cans of beans to come and fill their water buckets. You could be like the bad guy in the last “Mad Max” movie. They really should put this in the listing. (“Great opportunity to for an apocalyptic warlord!”)
Of course, there are plenty of, ahem, sane reasons to love this house. Inside, it’s incredibly bright, thanks to a dozen or more glass doors along the reservoir-facing wall. (The builder must have had a “buy ten, get five free” coupon from the door store.) The living room resembles a sunroom more than anything else, which is a good thing; in houses that have them, the sunroom is almost invariably the most pleasant lounging space. In most houses, the sunroom should be the living room and the living room should be used for, like, box storage, although it has been pointed out to me that if you sit in your sunroom 24/7, you’re going to end up as tanned and leathery as a Texas long-haul trucker by the end of your first Netflix binge. (On the other hand – vitamin D!)
The dining room is elevated above the living room, and also opens, via glass doors, onto the huge, awninged deck, so if you see a family member put ketchup on their eggs, you can (and should) fling their plate into the reservoir. There’s a large C-shaped kitchen that’s open to the family room, so even the meditative activity of cooking is no longer an escape from hearing about your significant other’s heroic struggles with the “Sort” function in Excel. Off the living room, there’s a beautiful high-ceilinged library with built-ins for whatever people put in libraries these days (printouts of hilarious memes?), and there are glass doors that open onto a shady flagstone patio that’s perfect for reclining on a sunny afternoon with a stack of printouts of hilarious memes.
Upstairs, the master bedroom suite has a private balcony with, yes, more glass doors, and features a square fireplace that’s perfect for incinerating import/export records as the FBI pounds on your front door. Off the master bedroom is an office-slash-sunroom, with two sides of exposure. It would make an extremely pleasant home office – maybe too pleasant, as you’d spend most of your time gazing at the view instead of doing what you usually do all day, i.e. manage your fantasy football team and check your ex’s Instagram feed. And the lower level is an independent living space of its own, with a kitchenette and bath, so if you get caught creeping your ex’s Instagram, you’ll have someplace to crash until it all blows over. Finally, it bears repeating that this house has three tiers of outdoor space; the large awninged wooden deck at the main level, the flagstone patio at ground level, and the private balcony at the top level, all of which have world-class views of the reservoir. Make sure you bring plenty of padded lounge chairs, and at least a dozen crates of bottle rockets.
4654 Charleston Terrace NW
6 Bedrooms, 5.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy Washington Fine Properties, 202-333-3320