Good Deal or Not? I’ve Always Wondered Edition


This condo is located at 1300 Kenyon Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“This light filled 2BR/2BA condo is 1 block from Metro, dining and shopping in Columbia Heights. Gourmet kitchen with granite counters, cherry cabinets, ss appl. and breakfast bar. Cherry HW floors throughout, crown molding, gas fireplace and lots of windows. Brick patio and prof. landscaping. Off street parking space is included”

More info and photos found here.

There are some buildings in the city that I’ve always wondered what they look like on the inside. I’ve been super curious about this one for a while. And while it’s nothing like I expected, it’s pretty amazing. I’m very curious to know what you guys think about the photos? $529,000 sound reasonable?

29 Comment

  • I’ve always drooled over this house. I saw that they were having an open house this weekend but couldn’t make it. It looks nice. Some more photos of the kitchen would be nice to see.

    I think the price is a good deal. The comps don’t hold a candle to this place.

    Now cue the whiners who will claim this place has no character and all the original details have been stripped.

  • I pass that place all the time, and marvel over the gorgeous exterior. Inside’s pretty nice, too. I like the crown molding. I wonder how many units are in the building?

    I’m not complaining about the lack of original detail. I don’t know when the place was built, or what it might have looked like. There’s nothing else really like it.

    But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I just don’t see paying over a half a mil for a two-bedroom condo a block or two from all the bad action. Whole houses go for the same price, complete with off-street parking, basements, etc.

  • Normally I have a knee-jerk reaction against a condo with an asking price that you could buy a good house with, but in this case, for the location and square footage, it might be worth it. And even though it’s modern, I do think it has character.

  • That condo looks like a place where nice people live.

  • I am currently looking for a 2+ bedroom in that price range, but am not too thrilled with that area. Out of curiousity, where could you get a full house in a good neighborhood for that price range, in the city?

  • Lindsay, that is one of the big fictions on this blog. Every GDON that claim is made … for under 600, you will either be (a) in a somewhat dangerous neighborhood, (b) in a house that needs a LOT of work (like no central air / hvac), (c) is particularly small or particularly unsightly, or (d) is not walkable to any public transit or commercial development. If you are willing to sacrifice on one of those points, you can have plenty of options. But you won’t get a house that nice and that convenient (to metro, etc.) in that price range anywhere.

  • Lindsey – I live in Brightwood between 13th and 16th streets, near the Rock Creek Golf Course. You can buy whole houses or row houses in my neighborhood for $450,000. A neighbor’s row house, totally remodeled in 2007 top-to-bottom, with off-street parking just sold for $445,000. A whole English Tudor house on Luzon is listed for $459,000. I feel safe, have multiple transportation options (buses and metro) within walking distance, have a back yard and no condo fees. Don’t listen to posters who say there is no such thing. Find yourself a good DC-based realtor.

  • I love the exterior of this building. IMHO, a “modern” construction that nonetheless echoes the surrounding neighborhood. The interior looks nice as well, although the Master Bedroom seems a bit tight (that shower looks teeny) and no picture of the kitchen likely means it’s small as well. I do like how they use the front bump-out for a dining area and use the side bump for the living room.

    WDC, there appear to be four units in the building – each floor is a single condo with one parking place in the back. I too think it is pricey for the space, but I live further north in Sherman Circle, and paid less than half that for my house in 2003 (it is worthy about 200K less than this place). However, I have to agree with anon at 2:41 that I am in a non-renovated house, so no central AC, and I do have to walk a bit to a commercial area, but I like that. You do need to compromise a bit on any house, but you could certainly get a place with twice the space for less money. My biggest fears about this neighborhood would be noise – 13th Street is pretty busy at that corner, what with the new Columbia Heights shopping district so close by, and there is a school just across the street.

  • What metro is Brightwood near and how long a walk? That is news to me … there is also not much at all in the way of walkable attractive retail, restaurants etc. I mean, yes you can buy a nice house there, and you can also buy a nice house in Maryland. But you aren’t in a big transit / commercial / nightlife corridor like this place. I am just saying there are tradeoffs — you aren’t going to get a nice house in a remotely equivalent sort of location to this one, which is two blocks from the Metro, a block from the Giant, in between two vibrant commercial corridors, etc. if you want to be dependant on a car, then of course, there are lots of houses all over the District — and outside it — you can consider.

  • Lindsay, it really depends on what element of the area you’re ‘not to thrilled’ with… and how you define ‘good neighborhood.’ For close to downtown, Mount Vernon Square has whole houses in your price range (walk to metro/ Safeway/ Chinatown). As does Bloomingdale, Shaw, and a whole pile of other neighborhoods.

  • I live 0.6 miles due north in a 2000 sq ft renovated rowhome, 5 minutes from the metro, purchased for the same price as this condo. Now i’m not saying it is a better location, because it certainly isn’t, as you pay a premium to be closer to all the things in Columbia Heights- this is specifically in response to anon, as my house meets all his requirements, a through d.

    i typically get sick of people who resort to “well you can get a whole house in petworth for that much” because that is besides the fact- people will always pay a premium for a smaller space in certain neighborhoods. i’m just refuting what anon alleged.

  • Walking distance to Wonderland… that adds about $100,000 value in my book.

  • anon, most parts of Brightwood are very walkable to the Takoma metro station. I live in Manor Park (aka Brightwood), and I walk to/from Takoma metro all the time.

    You’re right, Brightwood does not have thriving nightlife or retail. Thrifty Neighbor was just pointing out that Brightwood meets the criteria you set out in your original post.

  • (I am anon from above). Fair point, I withdraw that post regarding the criteria. I was reacting with frustration to the constant parade of “but you can pay that for a house!” posts but that post was inaccurate.

  • @RD – my thoughts exactly 😉 I wanted to say something, but you summed it just right

  • Lindsay –

    A lot of us are over here in Brookland because of the houses and price. I bought a 3 bedroom with large lot for less than this in 2006 (!) and it’s a 7 min walk to the red line metro. (In full disclosure, yes, it needed some work but was not a nightmare.)

    Safety is a very tough thing to quantify. I’m still subscribed to the crimemap from my old place and this place is very safe comparatively. But you will still hear boogieman tales about anything too far east.

  • Thanks for the input.. We live in Logan now and love being in the center of everything, but need to think of a place were we can live for the next few years and start a family and have space. I want feel safe walking around and that’s why I am not considering Columbia Heights, even though I dodge about 10 crackheads each day on my walk to work in Logan (which has been harmless so far). I guess it’s just to us to decide whether we want to get a cramped 2 bedroom in a Logan townhouse as opposed to a whole house in a more suburban neighborhood.

  • Two blocks from the Metro, jerkface realtor. What else are they exaggerating?

  • I might be selling my house in the next year, and I can’t wait to get the PoP crowd’s input. If this goes for $530k, what might my house go for? 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath rowhouse on one of the nicest blocks in CH, with rentable/in-law basement, walk-in master closet, central AC, new windows, original floors and trim, off-street parking, cheap-but-functional kitchen and bath rehab…

  • Come to Petworth, Lindsay! It’s a fab place to be!

  • Brookland, Takoma, Brightwood, 16th Street Heights, or East Capitol Hill are good for families. Parts of Petworth, too. Just don’t do Shaw or certain areas of Columbia Heights due to the concentration of public housing. There are exceptions of course, but Id go explore some of these areas. They certainly lack amenities but are mostly beautiful, historic residential neighborhoods that are a quick jaunt to downtown areas.

  • Lindsay – I consider Takoma, Brightwood, 16th Street Heights, and Petworth all great affordable neighborhoods to raise children. When we were looking last summer however mostly looked in Petworth and Brightwood due to its proximity to my husbands job.

    The condo is beautiful, alittle small but the windows are amazing. My plants would probably take over most of the dining and living room though. The outside patio is a plus and it is located near some great resturants/bars. No pictures of the kitchen which makes me think it is small and in an odd location. I personally wouldn’t pay over 500k for a 2 bedroom as I do want to start a family in the near future and would need a 3rd bedroom or even a den for work (I work from home and have to seperate that from my personal life or it would consume me) and family to visit.

  • I just bought a two-story, 1400 sq ft, totally converted “condo” (us and the downstairs unit make-up the association) in a brownstone about 2 blocks north of there. We paid about 35k under the asking price of this place. I’m not saying it’s not worth it–it looks really nice–but more is out there. My guess, though, is that these places all are under contract in about a week.

  • This home is at a premium b/c it is ON the same block as metro, was totally tastefully remodeled over the last 3-4 years and has all the conveniences of CH. As for the city problems you find here they decrease every 6 months. And 99% seems to be against people who the agressors know. If you are here for the long-term, expect the low-income housing to be replaced in the next 10 years with better mixed income homes as that is the DC model and these sore spots are on everyone’s radar as problem spots.

    I live on the 1300 block of Irving with 2 young kids. We’ve never had a problem. But we are used to city life. I am also big on Petworth. By profession I’m a mortgage broker/real estate investor. These neighborhoods will do extremely well over the next many years. But as many poster suggest you can buy cheaper if you don’t want the premiums for location, neighborhood and upgrades.

  • I didn’t realize the purpose of GDoN was to comment that there are cheaper pieces of real estate somewhere in the metro area. If that were the purpose, then all GDoN would be of SE properties, no? If not, then all these posts that there are cheaper opportunities….somewhere….. are worthless and pointless because they don’t address the value of the particular property in question.

  • I’ve loved this house ever since I moved near it. I wish it was for rent, instead.

  • but it izzzzz stripped of character. love that they left the book cover intact, but the inside could be falls church condo circa 1995. yuck!

  • stripped of character = roof that doesn’t leak. i love it.

  • A sold sign went up yesterday, so it must have been worth something.

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