Good Deal or Not? Reader Request


This condo is located at 437 Manor Place, NW:

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The flier says:

“This sleek and stylish unit features soaring vaulted ceilings, exposed brick, a gas fire place, an open gourmet kitchen, luxurious bath with a jacuzzi tub. The unit also has a huge private deck off of bedroom, tons of overhead storage, and a separately deeded parking space. Enjoy the wonderful Columbia Heights location on a beautiful quiet street near two metros!”

More info and photos found here.

The photos look pretty good. I dig the exposed brick and it’s nice that it has that private deck. But I’d have to say this is most definitely in the Park View neighborhood. So the 2 bed 1 bath is going for $339,000. Sound reasonable?


34 Comment

  • thanks for sticking up for proper neighborhood recognition! 🙂

  • I vow to never buy a place whose realtor uses that ridiculous longview lense to make places look 2x bigger than they are.

  • With cheaper finishes, that would be an awesome rental. But who would buy a place that can’t even fit a couch? All the non-bedroom space is essentially in the kitchen.

  • At the peak of the market, the formula for developers was to shoehorn 2 bedrooms and two baths into each condo unit and sell it for $499K. 1BR/1BA units might have sold for $349K. Units in higher-end neighborhoods were 2-300K higher (e.g. 2BR/2BA new condo in Dupont for $799K).

    This unit looks good and represents an interesting diversion from the peak formula. They’re not trying to jam two bathrooms into a small condominium. And the pricing on a 2BR in a slightly out of the way location seems to be much more rational. But not firesale.

    I would say the key to the value at $339K lies in the overall square footage, and how well distributed the space is within those two bedrooms. It might be a space that fits well altogether, or it might be a space that should really only have 1BR, in which case it should be priced lower. There still is some kind of voodoo magic in the 2BR formula for developers. Even if it’s the same square footage, but they jam 2BR in, they can increase the price by 40-50K.

    Just some thoughts.

  • I understand why people stage, but who sees someplace like this and thinks “sweet, i can fit two small chairs and an unpractical stupid looking coffee table in my living room! This will be awesome to hang out uncomfortably with that one friend i have.”

  • I’m mostly offended by saying this in Columbia Heights. It’s not even close. I’m willing to leave the northern boundary open to debate, but I’ve always thought that Georgia Ave on the east, Florida Ave on the south, and 16th St on the west are the undisputed boundary lines.

    And absolutely agree on the camera lens used. That’s no more than a 4′ x 6′ rug, probably more like a 3′ x 5′, but they sure want you to think it’s 8′ x 10′.

  • I know it is weird to call this part of park view columbia heights – but that is what it is called (according to the city’s tax records) and this is part of ward one. So don’t take offense.

    Can’t say if this is a good deal – but I can vouch for the street. Very quiet and friendly.

  • I kind of feel like realtors have to use those lens in order to attract buyers… (I’m not a realtor or a wannabe realtor, I work for an accounting firm)

    I got my current place in the Dupont/Logan (or, I guess they’re calling it “Borderstan” these days) area for well below what it was worth because the (young, inexperienced) realtor who put up the listing took such horrible pictures that the place looked like a tiny little box and almost no one came to see it.

    It is in fact a 700 sq foot 1-bedroom with a good size kitchen and 11 foot ceilings – but you’d never know if you looked at those pictures! She did the owner an injustice.

  • Yeah they need to bring in some real furniture to show buyers you can actually fit a sofa in the living room (the wall where the tv is would work, or the brick wall, although that would be a long skinny arrangement). The second bedroom should be fully furnished too.

    I totally don’t dig the wood kitchen cabinets. They are out of character for what looks like a contemporary loft space.

    Price, OK. Maybe a little high. It will probably go for what it sold in 2006 with the owners not making a profit, but I can understand them wanting to list it higher.

  • interesting how peoples’ reactions vary. I think the staging furniture is a great idea and realtors that DON’T use that lens are nuts. Using a regular lens will make normal-size places look claustrophobic. When I sell my place, *I* will be taking the pictures; no way I’d leave that to whatever random realtor assistant.

  • haha, you guys are harsh! but i expected that to happen when i emailed PoP about posting this. but i do appreciate your feedback.

    to address some of the points…
    – the square footage is close to 750 and there is a large deck and parking spot.
    – 1 or 2 bedrooms? i’ve lived with a roommate for 3 years as a totally functional and comfortable 2 bedroom apartment…plus it’s been great to help pay down the mortgage!
    – the lens. yeah, can’t do much about that, but it does capture the entire space in a single photo so you can see what the rooms look like. otherwise you’d have to piece together a bunch of photos which is harder to imagine the space.
    – furniture and staging. i downsized on furniture A LOT. i used to have a 9 ft couch that sat behind the coffee table facing the television. the funny thing about staging is that it sometimes ain’t functional for living. i don’t have the $$ to buy new staging furniture, so did with what i could with my existing furniture. i also had another bed so that both rooms had full sized beds, but that is no more.
    – columbia heights. dc tax records say CH not Park View, so that’s where that comes from.
    – ceilings – they actually go up to 20 feet at the highest in the living area and average out at 11 feet in the bedrooms. that, aside from the brick walls, is my favorite feature.

  • 437manor just took all the fun out of the GDON. You should have held your tongue for just a few more posts/comments…anyway

  • Its 1 block from the Park Morton housing project. That will make getting your crack easier.

  • RL – well that is good news;)

  • The ceiling exposed to the roof and the brick wall exposed to the outside (as opposed to an interior brick wall) make heating and cooling that place very easy! If it’s as small as it looks, maybe it’s not too expensive.

  • We could start a new feature, Duke it Out with the Seller! or not. Anyway, it’s a very nice renovation that would cost far, far more if it were closer to the Columbia Heights metro.

    Yes, it’s near a housing project that’s slated to close, that’s what makes it more affordable. Somehow though the Park View side of the projects seems way calmer/safer than the Georgia Ave side. And it won’t be around forever.

  • using a fisheye lens >>> having random shots of corners of rooms because you can’t fit anything in the frame

    and we’ve been through this before, but the DC property tax records do not correspond to the actual neighborhood boundaries. Nobody talks about living in “Old City #1” for example. This is in no way in Columbia Heights- associating your house with a close desirable neighborhood is the oldest trick in the realtor book.

  • mike – the duking out can still happen of course! i just had to address some points that had been brought up a few times. i’m sure there’s more debating left out there 🙂

  • just realized not all the controversial photos are available through the link, so here’s the complete set –

  • the photos are much better and give a better idea of the space. I missed the chandelier in the kitchen before. I totally dig that, although I think it makes the cabinetry stand out (badly) even more.

  • A valiant effort on identifying the neighborhood, but look again! This is actually in the Manor Circle neighborhood, which is named after a traffic circle at the intersection of Manor Place and Warder Street, which Pierre L’Enfant thought about for a few minutes while drawing out the plans for the city’s streets. True, the circle never existed, even on paper, but it’s a wonderful neighborhood, nonetheless!

  • @ [email protected]:16,

    The eastern border of CH is Sherman, not Georgia.

    [email protected]:38, if we call this Manor Place as opposed to what it really is (Park View), then why not just give every street it’s own official neighborhood designation?

  • Oops, meant Manor Circle. My bad.

  • SKETCHY neighborhood! No deal.

  • jt: blah blah blah it’s not columbia heights. just because it’s listed that way for tax purposes means nothing.

    i go over this again and again, and i realize i’m beating a dead horse, but c’mon people. just because it says so in a database that was created in order to help streamline classification for municipal bureaucrats doesn’t make it gospel truth.

    there is no such neighborhood as old city 2. but it does exist in the “tax records”. that’s all you need to know.


  • Actually the eastern border is Georgia according to Wiki and dare I propose Warder since Georgia is a major road and roads that directly funnel off of east-side Georgia are more aligned with that road than another road/neighborhood. Logical, no? We think West of Warder = Columbia Heights, East of Warder = Park View or Pleasant Plains. It’s just that way in our heads. We live in a group house so have no dog in the property values debate.

  • Now now, the area is not as “sketchy” as you all think. I live 2 blocks away from there and have been there for 6 yrs (yes got my house for less than $250K) and the folks all around are super nice, and have never had problems walking around there. I lived in Adams Morgan for 4 years and got mugged.

    And as for the Park Morton public housing….haven’t ya heard it is being torn down and they are building mixed income housing (a la HOPE VI).

  • Seriously, that area is a city but it’s not sketchy. And I’m a 5′ 2″ old(er) lady! I used to live right around there (moved out of state but still

  • Where are the closets? I see some overhead storage and a W/D in the hall closet…. where would you hang your clothes?

    This neighborhood is not sketchy, it’s close to metro and an okay reno (except for the complete lack of storage) – but it’s way overpriced (by about $50k.) Listed at 299, it *might* have a chance. Anyone paying over 300k for this joint is getting hosed.

  • Warder as the eastern boundary? Really? That leaves a one block strech before you hit the Soldiers’ Home. That’s got to be the smallest neighborhood ever. Agree on the uselessness of tax records. According to the tax records, Mt. Pleasant stretches all the way to like, 11th street, if not farther, and I think (hope) we can all agree that that’s not accurate.

  • saf

    DCdude – originally, Mt P DID got that far east. It was centered at 14th and Columbia!

    Neighborhood lines move over time.

  • That’s exactly my point. Tax records contain a very outdated data on where the boundaries lie. They shouldn’t be given more weight than the views of the folks living there now.

  • Seriously? A few blocks closer to the Georgia Ave./Petworth Metro is a building offering gorgeous, brand new duplex condos with parking starting at $350K. The smallest unit is like 1,100 square feet. This condo is WAY overpriced for that neighborhood.

  • That is the world’s worst living room furniture. Looks like a waiting room.

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