Good Deal or Not? Parquet Floors Edition


This condo is located at 1938 Biltmore Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“Beaut restored 2 bed, 1.5 bath lower lvl condo with lots & lots of windows!Quiet St yet close to Adams Morgan night life. Short walk to Woodley Pk-Zoo-Red line Metro. Marble tile in pwdr room & bath with floor to ceiling marble in huge shower!Gleaming hardwoods in Dining rm & Living rm with exposed brickwork providing great architectural detail!Updated Kit ceramic counters, ceramic tile floor & in foyer”.

You can see more info and photos here.

Hmm, I seem to be finding lots of basement condos. Before I looked it up I thought this whole building was for sale, which looks super fresh. But back to the condo – the floors are pretty sweet, yeah? What do you think of the rest of the photos?

Does $365,000 sound reasonable for this 2 bed/1.5 bath?

26 Comment

  • Ehn… no deal. I think only renters would live there, (the place looks like it smells) and you’d have to charge, what, close to $3000 a month to cover the mortgage and expenses?

    Exposed brick is nice, but not when it’s damp and crumbly exposed brick. There is a lot wrong with this place.

  • This place is on an incredibly beautiful block where I own a condo. I looked at it 2 years ago when it was on the market and actually wanted to buy it but my wife hates basement apts. The biggest drawback on this one is that the front entrance is very very tight, and there is no outdoor grilling space, and of course bums could pee right into your window. Also, the entire building looks like it is tilting west toward Rock Creek Park.

  • My opinion? If a 2br condo in that neighborhood can’t sell at $365K after 4 months, it’s probably not a good deal or someone would have made an offer by now. Besides, the listing shows that it sold last October (before the meltdown) for $353K.

    IMHO not a good deal.

  • Egh. Sorry, PoP, I’m not into those floors. Or the kitchen, or the bedrooms, or the bathroom … or really anything about this place. Okay, the exposed brick. That’s nice. It looks like it would make a decent rental apartment for maybe $2000-2200/month but I can’t see the appeal at all for an owner-occupant. And I think the price would have to come down closer to $300k for a landlord / investor to be interested.

  • Built in 1938?
    It looks much more like 1908.
    If this place recently sold then then the owner is just trying to take as little loss as possible in this resale, as for sure it will be a loss.
    I am wondering if it would be possible to open up a new entrance to this place on the street side rather than entering under the front stoop.
    Does that sound like a possible improvement?

  • Ceramic tile in a basement unit should be a clue: This place will flood. The water-stained bricks under the window shout the same thing.

    $365K for a leaky condo that will make life less enjoyable sounds like a BAD deal to me. With better options UNDER $300K, not sure why anyone would bite on this.

  • That bath shower really is a weird triangle, basements are lame, like many people I hate squeaky parquet floors, and the circular living room is kinda hard to decorate. I think whoever bought it was just trying to find an affordable 2 BR on one of the best blocks in town but after two years of drinking on 18th St every night has probably decided to move on to enjoy other things. Like having full sized windows. And you are right, you’d have a hard time finding renters to cover the payment.

  • it looks like a dungeon. and a big no to those floors!

  • Another basement – Ick! Please PoP, find something in The Ontario to look at.

  • I saw this place, and it didn’t quite do it for me. the only shower is in one of the bedrooms and is a weird shape, as noted by newbie), there is not a shared shower space. So if there were more than one person living there, someone’s bedroom would be used by others to clean themselves (hopefully) daily.

  • The proof is in the pudding: if it hasn’t sold at this price over the course of 4 months, then it’s obviously not a good deal. I’ve come across this listing before — it is around my price range, and the size is good, but I didn’t even bother to see it, knowing that it was a basement unit. Apparently most other people on the market for a condo agree with me.

  • Not a good Deal. I agree with Anon 1:19 — if a 2 bedrm condo can’t sell in 4 months for 365K, then there is a greater problem, and I think that problem is flooding. Ceramic tile in basement is a huge clue to water/moisture problems with the basement units.

  • Also, a $377 monthly condo fees are quite high for a building this size.

  • all basement units have water problems of one kind or another. nature of the beast.

  • re: Menace

    The cermic floors are in the kitchen and bath, I think that is normal. The rest of the place is wood floors, thus no indication of flood issues.

  • The issue “and also” brought up kills the rental value for the apt too. I thought it could be around $2000 but I think it would have to be much lower with bathroom access being thru one of the bedrooms.

  • I didn’t mind living in a rented English basement apartment, but these threads remind me why I am glad I didn’t buy one. Tough re-sell.

  • No me gusta!

  • Hey – if you didn’t mind a lack of natural light, you were only one person or a couple, didn’t have a huge budget, and wanted to live in one of the best locations in the city, maybe this would be a good deal.

  • @ ex rowhouse … I admire your courage in staking out a minority position admist the unanimous chorus of “bad deal,” but I still can’t see the appeal for that kind of buyer considering that for this same price or less they could find a nice 700-800 sq ft 1br that’s not underground in the same neighborhood. Is a 2nd br/den really worth it when to get one you have to live in the basement? I could see a couple with a baby would really need that room… but would they be looking in Adams Morgan? I just don’t see who this apartment appeals to at this price.

  • If I had to live there, I’d be a depressed person suffering from rickets. It’s just too dark and moldy looking.

  • Efflorescence (the white stains) in brick construction is normal and not a sign of problems. It happens in every building that is built with the material. You just don’t always see it because usually it is covered up with gypsum wallboard. I’m baffled by the proposed theory that the use of ceramic tile signifies water damage. Really, ceramic tile is a highly appropriate flooring choice for a kitchen that needs to be mopped and resist spills. Just look at the past GDoN editions–ceramic tile is in virtually all of them. Ceramic tile is no more an indication of problems in this home than it is any other.

    All that said, I wouldn’t buy it. It isn’t an English Basement, it is just a basement. With tiny windows. Is it really 1,000 SF? It doesn’t look anywhere near that big.

    The owners might do themselves a favor and at least attempt to stage it. You, know arrange the furniture to make it look like someone lives there, instead of uses it for storage. Clear out the second bedroom so you can actually see it, instead of hiding it behind a screen. Hang the wall decor at a normal height instead of at the ceiling which makes the ceiling look lower than it is. The depressing bachelor decor makes the place look even more depressing than it is.

  • That place is exactly why I would not pay over $200,000 for a condo in a converted townhouse. Is that bathroom and the shower shaped like a slice of pie? I had a bigger kitchen in the efficiency apartment I lived in and it’s a basement!

  • The place is really unappealing.
    That said living there and in that neighborhood is not unappealing, HOWEVER, owning such a place, as I said, unallealing.

  • Like ex-rowhouse, I think it’s worth a second look! I think it’s a great price for 2 bedrooms. The old brick and round living room are beautiful. It needs some good recessed or other lighting. Could be very charming…

    Not sure what to do if there might be flooding. I think the home inspection should look thoroughly for mold or telltale signs. Wonder if there is any sub-basement. Maybe you should dig out some kind of collection zone

  • I used to live in a condo that had parquet floors. If they arent sealed properly they are disgusting. The ones in my place had huge gaps (some > 1/2in) between the squares where dirt, dust, food, bugs, etc could hide. I rented, so between tenants they would just come in and sand everything down and mop the cracks full of polyurethane. It was disgusting, not to mention uncomfortable with bare feet! If these floors have the same cracks, its a no-go.

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