Good Deal or Not? Affordable Edition


This condo is located at 1457 Park Road, NW.

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The flier says:

“LOCATION!!!!!This is a good opportunity to invest in DC, One and a half blocks from Columbia Heights metro station, DC USA Mall is on the corner, Stores: like Target, Best Buy, Banks, Tivoli Square, Restorants and many more. Building is under Capital improvements throughout common areas.”

You can find more info but no photos here.

There are actually two units going for the same price in this building #204 and #509. Both are studio apartments and both have been reduced $10k. Do you think $159,900 is a reasonable price?

7 Comment

  • considering there are 1brs listed for over $450k less than 2 blocks away on Kenyon (with condo fees of over $150 extra a month), yeah, it seems like a good deal. The location is sweet–close enough to a gym and such that it wouldn’t matter if there was one in the building. I’d want to get a sense of how much more “capital improvement” the building was going to need and meet some of the folks living there first, though.

  • It depends on how you look at it. With 10% down, you’re probably talking about something like $1,300 a month with taxes and HOA. For that neighborhood, you’d be hard-pressed to do much better than that on a rental, and of course you’ll get some money back i the form of a tax deduction for owning. In that sense, yes, good deal.

    But the studio is only 390 square feet. That’s a glorified dorm room. And at that size, it comes out to over $400 a square foot. Not a terrible deal for the neighborhood, but not a steal by any means, especially for an older building that clearly can’t compete with Kenyon square on style or amenities.

    For someone looking to dip into the market for the first time rather than spend money on rent, this could work. But chances are most people are going to get tired of 390 square feet after not too long, and I don’t see a ton of short-term upside potential of this place if you decide to sell it after living there for 2 years or so.

    The best use for a place like this might be as an investor who can rent it out and have someone else pay off the mortgage for them for the foreseeable future.

  • “For that neighborhood, you’d be hard-pressed to do much better than that on a rental”

    True, but it wouldn’t be that hard to find a bigger $1300/mo studio, or a basement 1br for less.

  • Remember that buying is subsized by our tax policy… you’d get about 30% of your interest payments (which is the vast majority of your mortgage payment) back in taxes… So the real cost would be more like $1000 per month.

  • Interest rates are quite low now. I figure your payment would be closer to 1100. it is a lot better deal at 1100 then 1300. That being said, I never really got the logic of buying studios. As has been pointed out you would probably tire of this rather quickly, and as this unit has been on the market since August, ther eis no reason to think it wouldn’t take this long to sell again.

    Also I really want to see pictures. I want to know things like how good are the walls and how much noise can you here from the neighboring units. The lower end places need to be seen inperson before you can really evaluate how good the deal is.

    188 seems really on the high end for condo fees as well.

  • nice, peaceful area…

  • BUYER BEWARE! I have talked to so many people that bought condos in renovated buildings and it has been nothing but one headache after another. DC’s laws encourage people that were living in the building pre-condo to buy their unit. Not a bad deal until condo fees start rising and these people are unable to keep up with the yearly increases.

    As such, the condo board (like some neighborhoods) will be torned between the old timers and the newcomers that paid market value.

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