Good Deal or Not? Cool Old Building Edition


This condo is located at 1718 Corcoran Street, NW:

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The flier says:


You can find more info here and a virtual tour here.

It looks like this is a groundfloor/garden condo. Do you think that’s why it’s been on the market so long? Is 123 days considered a long time in this market? What do you think of the condo itself? Does the new price of $329,000 sound reasonable?

18 Comment

  • The reason it’s been on the market for so long is because it’s only 500 square feet, meaning that you’re paying more than $600/sq.ft. to live in the basement. Plus, the $430 condo fees (not including taxes) are pretty high considering the size of the place. Knock it down to $300k, and you’ll have a deal.

    I feel sorry for people who get saddled with an English basement condo. They’re really tough to get rid of, even the ones that are comparatively large.

  • It looks tiny and feels cavelike. Maybe is they cut the price another $100,000…

  • I don’t know… I like the look of the place, even with the tiny windows. I live on the first floor with windows that look to an alley – I’d rather have these english basement windows than alley windows. I think it’d be a better renter’s space, rather than something to buy.

  • Very, very small – notice not even a 2-person dining table?, and it’s in the basement (small windows), and it’s still priced at $658/square foot. They’re nicking the price down $5000 at a time, which doesn’t really lead to a big bump in new interest. I agree, 299K and you would probably start to see more people coming through the door looking. But at $658/SF, not even Dupont Circle is that desirable. Maybe a penthouse unit. Not a basement.

  • I wouldn’t pay any amount of money to live in a 500 sq ft cave with 6 foot ceilings

  • It’s not just that it’s small, and it’s not just that it’s in the basement. It’s that it’s small AND it’s in the basement. This is a great location and a nice renovation, but I agree with the posts above — you’re really taking on an asset with limited resale appeal when you buy a basement condo, and it’s highly unlikely that anyone would want to live in that space indefinitely. I imagine it would rent pretty well, but enough to cover the mortgage at 329k, even factoring in all the tax benefits, etc.?? I doubt that.

  • I used to live up the street, and always found it comical that in such a gay neighborhood there was a building called “The Anal”.

  • And since when is $430/mo a “low fee”?

    My place is even smaller, but tons of light – makes all the difference.

    If someone had cash, I agree that it would do very well as a rental – but I bet it will sell for less than current asking.

  • I think $430 is low because it includes most utilities.

  • I guess it’s not bad if you just absolutely have to live in the Dupont neighborhood but can’t really afford much more than this, but otherwise it’s tiny and dark.

  • I don’t think $430 per month is low, because utilities in a basement efficiency/1BR, with electric cooking, are probably $20/month, water and electric. Doesn’t include phone, cable, internet, etc.

    Also noticed that the bay shape of the window in the living room is not on the front of the building (with a flat facade at grade) so the unit must be on either the side, or on the alley.

    Strike three.

  • Gotta appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into converting a former trash/utility room into a condo that someone thinks is worth over $300k. If it sells at 300 and 20% down the mortgage plus fees and taxes is going to be north of $2400/mo for the privilege of living in a building where the amenities include a laundry room and an awning. Why on earth would you do that when 1brs like this are renting at around $1600 a month?

  • “I feel sorry for people who get saddled with an English basement condo.”

    @ JustMe, this is sortof a funny statement to me considering I’m pretty sure buying a condo is voluntary decision. 🙂

    But yeah, around $500 psf is the norm around there for above ground units, so over $600psf for a basement makes no sense.

    This unit that came up as one of the Redfin comps looks much better. $306 for a 600sq ft on the first (above grade) level:

  • @anon 2:35PM – yeah, that one a couple blocks is a good find. Something about a pre-war building with ornate moldings, true divided light windows, built-ins, and good sized rooms. Definitely a better place to live, a pretty good value in Dupont. Love the light coming in those big windows. Price you pay, though, is with a small range, no dishwasher, and no washer-dryer in the unit. To live in that neighborhood for $300K, though, that’s a small price to pay.

  • @anon 2:35 I have a friend who lives in that building. Not turning my nose up at it at all (awesome location, very pretty building – and I *love* that the bathroom still has the old tub), but just to note that those units are teeny tiny. Of course, if I was in a position to buy right now, I’d likely snatch it right up.

  • anon: your math must be wrong or you must have bad credit…a $240k mortgage even with condo fees and taxes would barely be $2000 / month

  • This not ‘ground floor/garder’. This is the basement. Because of that, and because of the amount of space, I don’t think it’s worth it.

  • maybe truth in advertising would help, too. it’s not “next to” the metro or whole foods. what it’s next to, practically, is the soviet safeway. not all english basements are horble. i had a friend who lived in a real beauty w/fireplace on capitol hill.

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