Sneak Peek Inside New Condo Townhomes on the 800 Block of Upshur

IMG_6035, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

We looked at the outside of these homes last week. I had the opportunity to check out the inside of a few this Sunday. And I can tell you that they were dope sky. So there are two units per row house. The one unit I saw, had a nice open kitchen (pictured above). But what impressed me most was that there were skylights all over the place. Super cool feature. This unit was two levels with the kitchen, living/dining room and a half bath on the first floor. On the second floor there were two bedrooms, one den and two full bathrooms. Pictures and more info from the developer to follow after the jump. (For the record, I have no stake in this property.) So what do you think now that you’ve seen the inside?

From the developer:

NAME: Upshur Row Condos (10 total)

LOCATION: 4209, 4211, 4215, 4217, 4225 8th Street, NW. Each building is a separate condo.

STYLE: Three level Rowhouses (no basements) with 2 units each.

SIZE: Each unit is on 1 1/2 floors. The upper units are larger, approx. 1,410-1,440 sq. ft. & are 2BR+Den / 2.5BA. The lower units are 1,280-1,320 sq. ft. & are 2BR/2.5BA.

PARKING: 1-CAR Off Street Parking for each unit. Commercial Roll Doors.

OUTDOOR SPACE: The upper units have a balcony & a spiral staircase leading to the parking. The lower units have a private patio.

PRICING: The pricing has not been 100% finalized, but will be approximately $399,500 for the lower units & $449,500 for the upper units.

These units are pretty special. The spaces are fantastic and the finishes are 1st class. Some other features include: slate front walks and porches, wide-planked oak hardwood floors with a reddish mahogony finish throughout, absolute black granite tops in the open kitchens, GE Profile Stainless Steel appliances (gas ranges), full sized stacked washer/dryers, skylights in the upper units, and tons of light in both units.

35 Comment

  • Enough with the “dope sky” already.

  • Skylights are dope sky. Lil’ Gal and I have one of them there 2nd floor bathroom skylights.

  • At least they’re reasonably priced. I had a realtor friend contact the owners of the Park Place building going up over the metro station to see what they were asking for units there. Suffice to say these people must be smoking crack ’cause the units are going from around 500K to 700K, and that’s just the lowest 3 floors. Now THAT’S some dope sky!!

  • These are not reasonably priced. You can buy an entire house probably within a block of that for that much. Condos do not appreciate that well. And the neighborhood isn’t that far along yet. Anything over $300k for a condo in Petworth is asking way too much.

  • Any off-street parking?

  • I really like them from those photos. And those prices for a 2+ BR updated condo with all the modern upgrades (windows, HVAC)? Sounds very fair to me. For a smallish kitchen it seems to have decent drawer/cupboard space and counter surface/work area. But I do wish more places (this included) had eternal exhaust fans above the range 🙁 This place is a perfect example of how if wouldn’t be THAT hard- its the top floor, and the kitchen isn’t near a window that you could open instead.

    But that’s just my little thing- I suppose most people don’t actually cook anymore (despite the overgrowing demand for gourmet appliances- I don’t get that) so heck, the buyer might appreciate the cost savings.

  • Those microwaves usually have an integrated exhaust fans built in underneath them, which are externally vented, fyi.

  • I disagree. You could easily get an entire house in the neighborhood for less than that and even with the cost of putting in some of those high-end features you’d still end up spending less and having more square footage–and you’d get renovations done YOUR way–not in flipper fad du jour.

    I cannot fathom spending that much on a condo that is that far from the metro and in this neighborhood.

    Those units or either going to sit, or the price is going to drop.

    Parkwood Person–I think that’s strange too. But the fact that people doing renovations sink so much cash into kitchens is great news for those of us who do actually cook a lot, at least if they do it right. High end features but zero counter or cabinet space doesn’t cut it for me.

  • It’s amazing to see how much the house people resent the condo people.

    Having looked a bit around DC’s market this past year, I think these are actually priced pretty well, considering their location and square footage.

    You might be able to get an entire house in Petworth for that money, but it would probably be falling in and need about 50-75K in work before it got to the “flipper fad” level of these condos. It would probably also be north of the 5000 blocks and a bus ride away from the metro.

  • I agree with perplexed. Even the hole in the wall house across the street from me is asking for more than these condos and it’s going to require somebody to put more than $50-70K into that thing.

    And how is there zero counter space in these places? That’s actually pretty good space. I mean it’s a condo in the city…you’re not going to have miles and miles of space.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Also these condos are two levels that give them more the feel of a house anyway…

  • If only they had roof decks….

  • Very lovely, and out of my price range. I probably couldn’t afford to buy property until I’m 80.

    And it’s “peek,” not “peak.”

  • Anon– don’t those fans just blow everything right back in your kitchen but in a different direction?

    Pauper- I at least was commenting that the counter space was decent compared to many I’ve seen.

    I agree with Perplexed and Pauper–you can find a rowhouse in the area for 450K that needs a lot of work and TIME to be as comfortable as this place will be immediately. Heck- there are a lot of people in this world who don’t actually enjoy home renovations as a hobby. It’s one thing to buy a house that needs cosmetic updates, but anything in that area for that price also needs more than 50K of work. (oh- and will also have at least $300/month heating bills and will be about as energy efficient as a barn). The kind of place that will have more square footage, but you’d only be able to actually enjoy a fraction of those square feet:) The rest of the house would be a dank unfinished basement or a back room too cold to go into.

    I know prices have come down a bit, but not THAT much.

  • Holy heck- I just re-read and discovered that they are 2.5 bath?!?

    Find THAT in an old row house! I’m loving these condos more and more!

    And Pauper- regarding my second counter space comment, I just saw that someone else called the counters small- sorry, thought you were talkin’ to me 🙂

    I’m Clearly hitting “submit” too fast.

  • If you look at the specs of most over the range microwaves they are listed as externally vented (vice blowing the air through a filter and back into your house/condo/whatever). My mother has one of these in her house and there is an air duct in the cabinet above the microwave, running from the microwave out the roof)

  • …although by looking at the empty void above the cabinets this might not be the case here.

  • Just because the houses are on the market for more than that doesn’t mean they are selling at that price. Check out trilia. or zillow. it doesn’t take that much to buy a house in Petworth.

    and condos do not appreciate. really pretty much at all. especially way up here where there is an opportunity to buy houses.

    and no one is flipping right now. you can hardly sell to begin with. their are something like enough condos on the market in DC right now to take 4 years to sell them all at the current pace… and a lot more coming up.

    i wouldn’t spend more than 300k for a condo unless it was really, really nice. and then you’d more likely buy something over 800k. the middle of the condo market is dead right now.

    prices have come down about 100k on many new projects. the total correction is likely to be at least 25% when all is said and done. that’s going to be really hard on those that try to sell what they bought when the market was at the top.

    considering that i have friends that just spent about that much for a 2 level rehab in the Fort Green section of brooklyn — these prices seem completely unreasonable for DC. we aren’t New York and we have a lot more new projects coming on line in this price range. things will only get more competitive and more gnarly. especially in an area that is as overpriced relative to what it was a couple years ago as petworth is.

    re: fans. it depends on what DC building codes state. some of those fans just blow them directly back in. but some jurisdictions require outside venting fans. especially on significant remodeling projects like this one. those fans might actually be in the stove itself and be a downdraft system. hard to tell from a picture and i don’t know enough about DC building codes.

  • My conclusion was drawn from seeing that empty void. A downdraft system… Did not know these existed… intriguing.

    I still say these are well priced. Expensive? Yes, but if you need a place to live in now, you won’t find anything cheaper that is this nice (and not part of a mega complex- I see the 2 unit flat as an amenity). If you’re solely a real estate investor (not looking for a place in which to live), then heck no- this isn’t a good time to be getting into the market or buying this condo. But a lot people are just looking for a comfortable place to live in, that can also (over time) appreciate a bit over the rate of inflation. Will anyone “make money” from buying this place right now at this price? Probably not- but that’s usually the case with all real estate– save this recent little flap in the market that got everyone thinking that getting rich was easy. What- 7% is the average long term return? Trying to time the real estate market is like trying to time the stock market- an exercise in futility. I could very well be wrong, but I don’t think these will be on the market as long as the majority of condos in the next year.

  • lets see…lots of square footage of pure crap that needs a ton of work or an adequate amount of square footage that needs very little to no work….those sites are not going to tell you how terrible the house looks inside…plus, petworth is HUGE…in those areas closer to columbia heights, which is where i live, you CANNOT get a house for near $400 that’s worth a damn

    i will agree that there’s been a correction in the past year or so, but i’ve also recently seen somebody in my building get near these amounts without the parking space, extra half bath and extra space

    on top of all of that, it costs more (utilities) to own a house than to own a condo, on the average…it takes more work (more space, roof, yard, walkway) to own a house than to own a condo, on the average…so on and so on

    now, do i think they’ll get asking, not necessarily…but close to asking? relatively…just cause you wouldn’t pay that doesn’t mean somebody else wouldn’t…people just value things differently which you completely ignore in your post

  • I heard from a renter who lives in an apartment building on Morton (where it dead ends off GA Ave). She said they are moving all the people out of those buildings to turn them into condos. They are going to knock down one building to make Morton go through to Warder Street. She says the ‘good’ tenants will be allowed back (she’s formerly homeless and in school while going through chemo with 2 kids) but I’m not optimistic this will be the case. The apartment building on our block had many elderly tennants (i’ve been told) who were moved out to convert to condos. Well, the building has sat empty for about a year and now all these homeless people sleep there at night. When will this condo madness end?

  • Otis Gal: DC has really strong laws about tenant’s option to purchase (they are called TOPA claims), tell your friend that they can’t kick everyone out without following the law – she might want to talk to a lawyer.

  • pauper: wait till you get your first assessment in one of those little three-unit condos and then come tell us about utilities at a house. Completely rehabbed houses (with the same ubiquitous stainless and granite every Lil’ Gal craves) can be had in Petworth for $500K in the same area as these condos. Look at the listings at Long & Foster’s website. They have a handy-dandy map-thing-a-majigger.

  • Renting makes the most sense in a market like this. Why buy a condo that is likely not to keep up its value — just so you can have nice stuff. I’m all for smaller spaces. The issue is condos make poor investments. They never appreciate at the rate of houses. And are the first to lose value in a downturn. And yeah, you can get a pretty decent house for $400k in Petworth, if you pay more — you aren’t at all paying attention to what they are worth. Places don’t increase by 100% in three or for years — that’s called a bubble. And just like people think there is value in a condo, or living by the rules of a non-elected condo association, there are fools that seem to believe that market is rational and values things appropriately. It’s not. And it definitely isn’t here. Then again, I pay $700 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. And won’t go higher than $900. I like to keep my money and not give it away.

  • Thanks for the correction!

  • i don’t live in one of those little 3-unit condos so i won’t be waiting…i’ve been living in a condo for years and my utilites are low and the condo fees are relatively low as well

    and that’s fine that completely rehabbed houses can be had for $500…if you read my post, i said you can’t get one for $400…i don’t know about you, but $100k is a pretty big difference to me

    inaudible nonsense, tell me, how are your taxes? are you taking the full return into account? probably not…my condo has been a great investment, and i’m not just telling myself that to feel good…the tax benefit alone has been worth it…plus, i bought a few years ago as opposed to recently so i’m not underwater and i’d sell now for a solid profit

    and like i said before, petworth is HUGE…so while you might be able to find a decent house for $400, not in my area…all the places for $400 are shells….and i’m not willing to give on location…i’m close to everything, just the way i like it…generally, you pay for location, regardless of the market dynamics

  • Glad to see someone speaking up for those who choose condos. House or condo or renting an apartment…depends on the individual circumstances. It’s interesting to read generalized statements (not just this blog but in general) regarding why condo buyers are fools. Condos in outlying areas follow a different set of rules than condos in the city – especially those near the center of activity. Like Pauper stated, you pay for location.

  • Pauper: we’re talking about these particular condos on 8th street and why they are overpriced when you can (literally) find a house around the corner for less money that has also been renovated. I’m sure your condo is fabulous.

  • thank you…i just needed you to say that to make me feel better

    and while posts start with a particular point, they tend to spiral in other directions…i don’t think everyone’s comments are just about these condos…there have been plenty of posts that have said that condos are poor investments…that i disagree with

  • Howdy all..thought I would weigh in as I have been in the real estate market this year…I AM NOT AN AGENT! I have had a really topsy-turvey (sp?) year with the market..both as a seller and as a buyer…I’m going to ‘rant’ quite a if you can’t stomach it—just click out of this now….. SO…grab a snack..and read ONLY if you are into real estate like me..OR..just a buyer trying to navigate a bit…..Again, I am NOT an agent!

    I sold my previous property and tried to bid on something in Petworth..awesome street, great neighbors but in the end-the sellers will NOT make corrections to the home and rammed some pretty bad repairs into the place (which would likely cost a ton in the end)…anyhow…I’ve looked at over 75 homes in the past 3 months and was out looking last winter. From my assessment…(and that of two appraisers)..1800 sq ft homes (3bed/2bath/no pkg) near the Petworth metro will fetch anywhere from a low of 300 (if they are aweful) to up to about 420….if they are full of high end stuff…add a bit more but honestly–the market is FULL and there are SO many deals. Example: a friend of mine just bought a home in Ledroit Park–great street/great area with 2 parking spots…for less than $’s over 2400sq ft but still needs and upgraded kitchen and a new upstairs bath..but totally livable. I would estimate that market prices have dropped from about 8-20% in the District alone (despite what zillow/others/agents would have you say). I agree with the points that folks are making about long-term…and if you bought from will likely need to stick it out much longer than those that buy now…. Prices are expected to continue to fall here and around the country over the next 18-36 months…and we are likely on the verge of a recession in 2008/09……. Sorry to talk so much about this–but I’ve been living the housing nightmare all of 2007..from a really rough sale of my condo (took 89 days for the 1st offer and another 5 weeks to closing) to people still thinking their homes are worth what they paid for them as there are 2-3-4-7 all on one block in some areas! I have literally walked the pavements from Eckington, to DuPont to Petworth, Brookland and CoHe looking for places…and it seems that only in the past 2-4 months that the ‘desperation’ is setting for folks.

    My advice (take it with a grain of salt of course!)…
    1. RENT…save your money and wait for 1-2 more fed cuts. IF you really want to buy–spring will be amazing…ARMs are about to reset again come Spring and the amount of foreclosures that will flood this area will shock everyone. (be cautious–a short sale/foreclosure situation can take a LONG time to close on–sometimes up to 6 months–probably well worth it though)….
    2. If you own already: Stay in it–this market will bounce back-we all know this…just not for 2+ years..
    3. If you own and need to sell: put your money where it counts! Neutral colors, appliances/etc….do what you can…It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do to a place. Hire a cleaning person (I have HORROR stories over what I saw along the way), hire a gardner if you dont’ want to do it yourself..etc..etc…but people want: location-location-location, kitchens, baths and cozy spaces. Too much personalizion spoils it (so put away those pics of grandma and the kids –just for a little while)…
    4. If you are buying: Do not listen to your real estate agents! THEY DO NOT WORK FOR YOU! You need to be a smart buyer and do as much of the homework on your own. You can spend a weekend pulling comps, pulling listings/etc and YOU determine what you want to do. Ultimately, this is YOUR money..and the agents, brokers, title companies and mortgage companies all have a vested interest—Get you to settle quickly, get your money and at the end of the day when you get that key–THEY ARE GONE! Be smart!
    5. Condo Dwellers BEWARE! You should always insist on a 2-3 year construction warranty and clearly read the fine print. If it’s a rehab/new place–you are going to have problems…Just cause it is new doesn’t mean it’s perfect! Pipes, roofs/etc…remember, your new spanking condo probably had dozens of subcontracted folks in it….You think people aren’t going in at the cheapest for labor costs? You must be forewarned. Now, that’s not all doom and gloom..but look at the details on a 2nd or 3rd visit (DO NOT OFFER ON THE 1st day out!)..visit with friends/etc for a sanity check, don’t be afraid to take LOTS of pictures (agents love this-shows interest)…..but be careful–initial condo fees will likely NEVER go down…, realize that there could be massive or at least substantial ‘assessment’s levied upon the development at some point (usually not that bad if you are in something new). Again, protect yourself! I agree with the one writer’s opinion about ‘wanting something now’…it’s ready/done and obviously pretty…but watch the trends–condos are a difficult sell in this market and likely going to be even MORE difficult in the future–there are just too many units still expected to come online. Ok–so you want to buy a condo and really love it…. Don’t buy a home that is a ‘hole’. Insist on high-end items, warranties, carefully selected woods/other….do not skip in the beginning….You’ll likely NOT have money to make upgrades (let alone buy furniture! with some of thsoe prices)..>SO….you want it to be totally wonderful when you move in.
    6. Do not be afraid to walk away! The worst mistake I almost made this year was not trusting my gut on something back in June. If it doesn’t feel good or the deal seems ‘shady’ (I could go on here)…do not do it! The pool of homes/condos is amazing…be disappointed–sure..but realize that there are dozens of like homes around (in most cases)..and you might actually find the home of your dreams–right around the corner!

    I’m rambling..sorry folks…but I could go on and write a book on what happened to me this year. However, keep the faith….the recession in 1991 lasted quite some time and it wasn’t again until the mid 90s when the economy ‘normalized’. I love the Petworth area…..I would love to live there but alas, I think I’m going to rent and watch prices continue to fall….don’t believe me—?? Watch for yourself.

  • inaudible nonsense wrote:
    “The issue is condos make poor investments. They never appreciate at the rate of houses.”

    Isn’t everything relative? If the only place I can afford a house that isn’t in terrible shape is outside the beltway or in SE DC I think a big condo in NW DC has the chance to appreciate better. Would that NW DC condo appreciate better than a NW DC house? No. But it doesn’t mean the condo is not a better investment than any house out there.

  • Urban dawg,
    your post is several months old. do you still think Upshur is a great buy and can i do better? just want your opinion
    please email me. i want be able to find my way back to this page

  • “CoHe” is an extremely ghey term for our neighborhood.

  • What does everyone think about these condos now? The upper units are selling around $400k and the lower units for $370. Thoughts?

  • Pingback: My FHA Experts

Comments are closed.