In any election year, Washington dominates the news. This year is no exception. But as we all know, there’s nothing normal about 2020. From a worldwide pandemic to social unrest to what promises to be the century’s most contentious match-up, it’s no surprise we’re in over-drive.
Which is why when we spotted this luxury D.C. townhouse on the market for $4.75 million, we couldn’t help but think: What would it be like to live just seven blocks east of the Capitol? And would it be a good investment?
It’s a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” according to the Coldwell Banker listing. Constructed by stone mason Antonio Malnati in 1903, the 5,286-square-foot townhouse is located on East Capitol Street. The majestic stone and brick facade, designed by architect George S. Cooper, features a sandstone entry stairway and front entrance with ornate stone pediment.
And that’s just for starters. The townhouse sits on a rare, double-width lot. The current sellers not only made major upgrades. They added tons of personality.
Among the most intriguing features: a tranquil side porch and courtyard. The owners hired a Russian artist to paint a 16-foot fresco on the garden’s blank wall.
“It incorporates architectural details of the house,” owner Connie Tipton told the Wall Street Journal. “It was truly our view for the remainder of 20 years we spent here.”
It’s an “entertainer’s dream.”
The townhouse comfortably hosts over 200 guests — post-pandemic, of course. And over the years, it’s been the site of countless garden parties, weddings, fundraising events, Halloween extravaganzas, and family dinners.
Inside, an elegant entry hall leads to the spacious, light-filled living room, complete with original fireplaces. The formal dining room, lined with American chestnut woodwork, includes a built-in china cabinet. A large kitchen sports new appliances, wooden cabinetry, and heated floors.
Five bedrooms and three bathrooms occupy the second and third floors. In the basement, there’s a two-bedroom apartment plus walk-in wine room which the owners often rented out to Senators.
As for the townhome’s investment worthiness, we considered a couple of factors.
In 2000, it set a record price for Capitol Hill.
The owners paid an unprecedented $1.1 million for the property. Another $1 million went to renovations, including preservation of historic details.
We also learned that although homebuyers become more cautious in the face of election uncertainly, any downturn is temporary. The luxury market is flourishing, thanks to increased demand, insufficient supply, and historically low interest rates.
“Homeowners in counties of all colors—blue, red, and purple—are benefiting from a strong housing market,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather told the World Property Journal. “Home values are up, which is great financial news if you’re a homeowner, regardless of your politics.”
Gary Jankowski with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has listed 712 E Capitol Street NE, Washington, D.C., for $4.75 million.