Good Deal or Not? This is how you do Photos Edition


This condo is located in the Villaggio at 1425 Euclid Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“This unit has it all! Stunning walls of glass and extraordinary priv. roof deck w/ fabulous Monument views! Dramatic sunny space w/ open mezzanine, 2BR 2BA, gas frplc, tons of outfitted clset space, grnt countrs, custom wndw treatments, lights on dimmers, in-wall stereo wiring, W/ D and grge prkng. Great location! Walk to all amenities and two Metros.”

More info and amazing photos found here.

I’m dying to hear what you think of these photos. They blew me away. Be sure to check out the living room photo. Does $699,000 sound reasonable for this 2 bed/2 bath?

32 Comment

  • I don’t know about the price — but I LOVE it.

  • I hope they get the price. It’s beautiful.

  • Are you sure those are actually photos? They look a bit like the architect’s computer rendering/virtual tour shots to me.

  • What’s up with that weird playground that is next to this building? It seems like it is closed every time I walk by it.

  • I don’t think so. It’s a premium price, and absent a really ideal location (like, say, 15th and Swann), you don’t get premium price when your fixtures come from Home Depot. I want Viking and Subzero for 700k, not Frigidaire and Kenmore and off the shelf Home Depot bathrooms. Also, new construction will definitely had square footage info available and their failure to include it makes me suspicious. Cool patio, great light, but I’m guessting 550k max.

  • I’ve seen photos like this before – where it looks like a computer image. What is the finish?

  • “Roof deck w/ fabulous views of Girard Street shootings.”

  • really beautiful place, well photographed, but no thanks to euclid.

  • Those aren’t renderings (I do both architectural photography and computer rendering). They’ve simply used a lot of photographer’s lights to eliminate the shadows. They may have also boosted the sky color, although the reflections in the glass in the exterior shots make me think they just got really lucky with a clear day. And all of the photos have been tweaked using editing software

    The repetitive ‘home depot’ remarks are tedious. Certainly there are plenty of GDoNs and plenty of realtors who claim “designer” features when there are none. But floating granite counters (in the master bath), Kohler Purist faucets, and Yale Madrid style door pulls are not DIY superstore products. Mass produced is not the same as home depot.

    All that aside, 700k for a 2BR condo in CH seems pretty high to me, even considering DC’s market and the nice finishes.

  • Wow, those photos really are amazing.

  • Lovely condo, questionable location, laughable price. And don’t forget the 484/mo condo fees!

  • @ogden – sorry you find it tedious, but much of the justification for high prices is in the kitchen. Designer cabinetry is 100k; home depot is 5k. A 30″ Viking range is 6k, that range is probably well under 1k at Sears. And the floating counter? Sorry, that’s off the shelf HD (and looks solid surface to me, not granite). The reason why this might have problems is it is half trying to be a cool, unique designer place and half screaming “oooh, stainless appliances and granite counters” which is what every fake loft in cincinatti is also trying to be. To get high dollar you need to spend it in the finishes and they most certianly did not.

  • Anon2:30–You can pretend you know what you are talking about but you so clearly do not. Any architect designer or contractor (I am one of those) can identify the upgraded finishes and know what they are worth. I don’t think this place is worth 700k, but this place is definitely more than a builder’s special.

    The counter in the kitchen and the master bath are granite. The master bath appears to be floating (I don’t mean there is a whole air gap between the counter and the base, I mean there is a very deep reveal). The counter in the 2nd bath is solid surfacing (and is not floating).

    Viking and subzero are not the only manufacturers of expensive stainless steel appliances. Of course you don’t see GE’s top-of-the-line products in Sears. Not because they don’t make them but because Sears isn’t the right place to try to sell them. All of the major domestic manufacturers have commercial grade stainless steel appliances. They are sold on the B2B market and again, a designer, architect, or contractor would know where to get them and what they are worth.

  • That price is ludicrous, and the only people here who will claim it’s a good deal have already bought in the neighborhood and hope that their property might sell for a whole lot more than it’s worth if they sold it today.

    My brother-in-law bought a similar unit with an even larger private patio on the roof about a block away for about $150k less, and this was in 2008. I can’t imagine this place going for $700k unless someone with more money than ability to research the neighborhood just has to have it.

  • Wow nice, but not that price at that location. I also can’t tell what floor it’s on. Unit 13 sounds like the first floor, but it’s not. Are there people above you or not? Those are things I like to know. Love the deck, hope its NOT shared.

  • I looked at a unit for rent in this building last October. They were struggling to find tenants at $2800/mo. So, I think the price is ambitious on many levels. While I bet based on the “market” it goes for $625-650k, I don’t think anyone should spend more than $499-550k on it. God forbid, you get laid off, deplete all your savings to carry the mortgage for a while and try to find tenants to pay the price of a $699k mortgage for a 2 bdrm condo.

  • Photos weren’t bad but I was distracted by the overly blue sky and trying to figure out why they were different.

    As for the pricing seems a bit pricey to me. More likely to go for $30,000 or so less. Maybe they are going for the set the price at this price thinking to get that price strategy as opposed to set the price real low and get a bidding ward strategy.

  • That is a beautiful condo. I’m really digging the patio space!!

    The sky looks photoshopped.

  • That price in proximity to the crack’n’gas at 14th & Euclid would make it a no-go for me.

  • It isn’t HDR. HDR is a very narrow field of photo manipulation. As Crosb’s link so helpfully points out, HDR is a time and cost-intensive computer process resulting in exaggerated contrast and artistic effect.

    These photos are the exact opposite–they LACK contrast, because extra photography lights and some photo editing software have eliminated the dark shadows. These are just the product of someone with a DSLR, some lamps, and a photoshop license.

  • Maybe this should be a different thread – but what exactly does 95k worth of kitchen cabinets do to enhance your life? The 5k Home Depot cabinets hold the same amount of stuff, and then you could go on 9 vacations around the world!

    How much better does a 10k stove cook or a 5k refrigerator cool? Have people just gone nuts? I see all these swanked up kitchens and they all look alike and equally boring.

    But then my philosophy has always been just to have friends interesting enough and food good enough that no one notices the formica countertops.

  • “But then my philosophy has always been just to have friends interesting enough and food good enough that no one notices the formica countertops.”

    Mmm… exactly. But most people who would overpay for a $700K condo are wannabe lobbyists or Washington lawyers, and they’ve long since given up the idea of “friends”.

  • well, it’s worth whatever someone pays for it. which is fine except no one actually “pays” for anything – just get a loan and hope you can unload your “asset” on the next poor slob or just walk away entirely…voila 🙂

  • Yeah I’m not impressed by enhanced photos. The only one that I liked was that of the master sink for some reason.

    Nice terrace, but I agree that it’s overpriced.

  • I am a value based mortgage consultant w/ an MBA who believes in determining fair value not based on the highest price others have been willing to pay. This property will cost $3,500/month to carry even assuming a full 20% down ($130,000), good credit, competitive interest rate and $50,000 off asking price. Assuming it is rented 80% of the year the property would lose at least $12,000/yr when rented at $3,000/month. Add in a wear-and-tear allowance, opportunity cost for the $130,000 downpayment, closing costs and management fees and this property is priced too high for a city 2BR unit. It would lose about $20,000 year.

    If a 2BR city condo can’t come close to covering rental income when brand new then the units are priced to include future upside. Today’s buyers should not be paying a market premium. On the other hand, I have no issue with those with money to burn to get exactly what they want.

  • You’re retarded if you pay that much for a condo and you don’t even have a yard.

  • I think the place is overpriced, but I disagree with steveg202’s methodology (and his calculations are off as to the carrying cost, but that’s another story). I diagree that a place is overpriced if you can’t rent it out to cover your mortgage. That’s relevant if you’re planning on renting it, but its irrelevant if you plan on living there. Why? Becuase if you live there, the “cost” is lower because you can deduct the mortgage interest payments. So, a $520k mortgage (20% down, and a $50k reduction in the asking price of this condo) at 5.25% is $2871/month. Assuming your marginal combined state & federal tax bracket is 25% (conservative bet), you’re saving over $550/month in taxes the first few years (gradually decreases as you pay less in interest and more in principal).

    Furthermore, if you lose your job, and can’t make the mortgage payments, it would be a stupid move to rent this place out–even if you could cover the morgage payment. You’ve got $130k in equity locked in this place (assuming the 20% downpayment in the assumptions above). Sell the place and get the $130k back (minus transaction costs) so that you have money to live on, to pay rent with, and to position yourself to get another job. I suppose if you could rent out a place to cover both the mortgage and your own rent in another place, then you should rent it out, but that kind of undervalued real estate doesn’t exist on this Earth, and certainly shouldn’t be the basis for making any valid appraisals. Maybe on Mars that would work, but not here on Earth.

  • Ogden, it is very clearly HDR. And HDR is not hard to do.

    And look at how many people do it (not to mention some of these photos look exactly like the ones in these posts.)

  • Anonymous -your points are valid for those happy to pay whatever the market will bear. I am hired as a “value” consultant and own over 10 properties myself. If you buy something I make sure you can either sell at a profit or rent it at a profit. For some these are not issues. For most they should be.

    But to the point -my calculations are a way of calculating a good value rather than a price anyone else is willing to pay. I properly include carrying costs, condo fees and real estate taxes. Also, 5.25% is not accurate for a loan more than $417K. Lastly, I’m not suggesting they should rent out the condo. Only devise metrics for a purchase so they can determine fair value apart from just what the highest bidder is willing to pay. As you can tell from this market many were willing to pay a lot simply because others did.

    For example, many buyers came to me trying to buy the condos above CH metro 2 years prior to completion for about $650K. Plenty of signed contracts. Those who hired me did not buy. Most who did walked from the $30K+ downpayment. Prices are still too high after huge reductions.

    I am conservative with money. Some forget that simply losing 5% on a $700,000 purchase is at least $65,000 CASH after closings. If you don’t mind

  • @steveg202:

    That’s fine if you are following those infomercial strategies where you buy “cash flow positive” properties (or whatever other terms those hacks use). But, again, if you are buying a property to live in it, your theory on the value of properties has no relevance to that decision and it is not an accurate way to judge the value of houses here that are marketed to people to live in (as opposed to rent out), much less whether to figure out whether or not one can “afford” to buy a particular place.

    I just have a hard time with people claiming to be experts when what they say is so full of holes it doesn’t even pass the red face test. It just ruins your credibility. Some examples:

    (1) Your statement that carrying costs would be $3500 is LESS than what it would actually cost under your assumptions. They would be even further off (a further underestimation) if the mortgage rate was greater than 5.25%. In other words, if you would have done your calculations correctly you could have supported your argument better.
    (2) I bought a rowhome in DC a few blocks south of this one in March, and got a mortgage for $556k at 5.25% with no points.
    (3) Today, you could get a similarly-sized 30 year jumbo with 20% down for 5% w/ 1.25 in points/origination fees, or 5.25% w/ .25 points. Assumptions of excellent credit notwithstanding.
    (4) There are multiple ways to figure out what a property is truly “worth”–they all failed over the last few years. The only one that actually worked was what the “highest bidder was willing to pay.”

  • Let me get this straight:

    1) Your original argument was that the carrying cost was $2871/mo and you argue that my estimate of $3500/mo is too low? Your expertise left out basics like condo fees and real estate taxes? I’ll stand by my metrics -they include much more than these basics. Forgive me if I don’t give them all out over this blog.

    2) You claim 5.00% with 1.25% points. Umm, that is an additional $8,125 upfront. Or you guess 5.25% with .25%? Prospective owners need to know which makes financial sense.

    3) Your suggestion that this kind of analysis is like an infomercial? You mean putting 20% down ($130,000 in this example) with great credit and hoping to be able to break even if you need to rent on a brand new condo? Does this not sound reasonable?

    There is much to buying real estate as a professional that part-time investors don’t have the time to learn. I chose CH 6 years ago and bought my 4 story homes on metro block for the same price anonymous paid for his small condo. My basement rents almost cover my entire mortgages. Every property is cash-flow positive. Perhaps there is more to real estate than simply paying the highest price.

    Or you can argue that paying $700,000 for a 2BR condo is appropriate. Buying into the old model is fine, as I wrote, if you don’t care about an extra few hundred thousand dollars. Just a 5% higher growth rate on a $700,000 purchase over 7 years (average time someone lives in their homes) is $245,000 without compounding. Making a 10% better decision is about $500,000. How much do our readers SAVE each year? If my analysis changes how you view buying, living, retiring then think of using a professional who practices succusfully what they preach when you are buying the most expensive purchase of your life. As these professional fees are paid entirely by lenders and sellers our services are free to our clients. Click my name for my website if you want my help. I personally own 12 properties, several internationally and even have my retirement funds out of the US in prime beach real estate in developing countries earning over 20% yearly.

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