Good Deal or Not? Converted Row House (Pop Up) Edition?


These condos are located at 1449 Girard Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“Spectacular new condos in Columbia Heights with unique bi-level layout. All new construction. 2 BR & 2 FB. Premium finishes. Gourmet kitchen w/ granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Luxurious baths w/ travertine tiles. 2 private patios. In-unit W/ D, hardwood floors, low condo fees. Parking available. 3 blocks to Columbia Heights metro.”

More info found here and a virtual tour found here.

I always enjoy checking out the inside of buildings we’ve judged. I seem to recall folks weren’t huge fans of the outside. But having the opportunity to look inside is quite interesting. I happen to be a huge fan of exposed brick. I think these look pretty sweet. What do you guys think of the renovations? Others must like them as well because units 2 ($475k) and 3 ($469k) are already under contract. Unit 1 is still available for $445,000. Sound reasonable for this 2 bed/2 bath?

21 Comment

  • Looked at them. I felt they were priced too high for the area, but the finishes were nice. The hesitation was the community center across the street and the public housing down the street, which has its own “crew”.

  • definitely high-priced for condos. and i second the gang stuff. that little park near there has some serious stuff going down at night.

  • Very pretty, but yeah that’s a no-go on price for that block. Move the same condo two blocks north or 3 blocks south and it’s a bargain.

  • I this is really pretty, with nice details. But the shared staircase going past the wall of windows in the master bedroom would be a deal breaker for me. I don’t think all the money in the world could make me comfortable with that kind of invasion to privacy.

  • What a lazy POS realtor, that can’t even put separate virtual tours/groups of pictures for each unit. I think this is the basement unit, so it is probably not even represented in it.

  • I can’t tell anything other than the staged furnishing and the finishes about this place.
    Not a clue as to what a unit might look like, BUT, perhaps from the real estate point of view if you were interested you’d go over there and find out.
    Help me out here guys, if you can.
    Basically I have a house that probably looked like this house before they gutted it and chopped it up. I am emotionally attached to my house which has been lovingly made livable by me and my partner over the past 30 years but should I ever want to sell it I could detach myself for the profit.
    SO here’s my question. I believe my 3 BR, 1.5 BA unfinished basement, 3 level house including the basement, with garage could possibly sell for 550K-575K or so. How do I convert this to a 4 level 3 unit condominium worth 1.5K and how much would it cost me?
    Would it be worth it? I could easily move out and I do have another place to live so that wouldn’t be a problem and needn’t be factored into the cost/profit ratio.

  • I second the concern for the off putting shared staircases in back. If they are accessible by every other unit owner’s balcony (and from the ground), they are not private, and I don’t want to see my neighbors (or anyone who comes up the alley and decides to take a peak) stroll past my bedroom on my supposedly “private” balcony.

    That brings up the second issues with this building: that block is very very bad in terms of crime, gangs, and loitering by unsavory characters in general. I used to live a block away, and I wouldn’t live on that block for free. I can’t imagine the people who have put contracts on units in that building are familiar with the area, as no one who knows what that block is like at night would pay that much for those places, no matter how nice the interiors are.

  • That goes back to visiting the area you are going to buy in during the day and during the night. I went by this particular area and decided against it.

  • I agree with RD

  • Although I share RD’s frustration with the pictures the realtor put up I think it is important for us to remember what their purpose really is. The pictures are meant to entice an interested potential buyer into coming to see the property in person. They are generally not meant to sell the property sight unseen, and they are definitely not meant to fulfill the voyeuristic needs of blog readers (this is just an added bonus!)

  • Richard, not sure if you are serious? I understand that any time you add a bump-out or a pop-up, you’re getting into big money.

    My naive question of the day: I too have a “stainless” steel fridge. Why doesn’t it shine like the ones pictured? Mine is not “stainless”, maybe “stain more”

  • Jeez… I have to agree with Chalk… its obviously easy for anyone to say, jump over the fence and then have free acess to all 4 floors. Maybe there will be a neighborhood masterbator who can come and look at you through the wall of windows as you sleep. WORST. IDEA. EVER!

    And, I say that after shopping the housing market and seeing some doozys. Wall of windows bedroom next to a staircase that leads to the alley. GENIUS!

  • Bogfrog, try washing the fridge with dish soap, and rinsing well. The grease build-up dulls the shine, and only dish soap will remove it. Like in those commercials where they clean ducks caught in oil spills.

  • I personally don’t have a problem with the staircase in the back. What is the difference between these and the fire escapes so common in NY ? Looks pretty good to me.

  • @ bogfrog – Have you tried cleaning your fridge with olive oil? I have never done so myself but I have heard from numerous people that it works wonderfully.

    I actually think the condo pics look really nice but they don’t look to be for the acutal unit for sale. I wouldn’t pay 445k for the bottom unit condo near 14th and Girard. The location will be a really hard sell. If this was farther away possibly from that intersection then possibly.

  • I agree with VG, besides there is the added benefits of a fire exit and the space gained inside the apts.. I go by every day and my issue is with the pop up, the top unit looks odd in this street.

  • I can’t speak to whether or not this is a good deal, but having lived on this block for 2+ years I’d like to chime in. It’s really not that bad. It’s not that good either, but it’s not the war zone it’s made out to be. The police have been there pretty much 24/7 since the shootings over the winter. It’s Columbia Heights – sketchiness abounds – you just have to take precautions, be smart and hope for the best.

  • Aren’t the stairs there so you can access your unit from the parking spot? Otherwise you would have to walk around the block to gain entry through the front door.

    Does anyone know the future of the public housing? Are there any similar plans to do a Park Morton style re-do. The area from Columbia to Fairmont seems to be the cause of constant problems, and it is essentially the southern gateway to CH, it desperately needs to change.

  • I normally give PoP a lot of crap for repeatedly featuring overpriced, tiny basement dungeons on GDoN, but this is actually a decent deal. It’s less than $400/sq.ft., and if you have enough capital, say about $100k, you could pretty easily rent it out at cash-flow-positive rates.

  • This place is a disaster and whoever put so much money into the high-quality finishes has no chance of coming out even on this deal.

  • Three are sold, basement unit still available. They obviously weren’t overpriced enough to scare people away entirely. I wonder if the marketing makes mention of the community center across that was shot at randomly one early evening?

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