Good Deal or Not? 2 Bedroom for well under $200k Edition

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This coop is located at 429 Kenyon Street, NW:

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The flier says:

“Lower-level, two bedroom unit offers one full bathroom and lots of closet space. In good condition but needs a little TLC. Great opportunity, great price. Enjoy co-op ownership (co-op fee includes all utilities, taxes, operating expenses and underlying mortgage) and lower closing costs! Seller will replace all appliances and install carpet prior to closing.”

You can find more info here.

Sadly there are no interior photos but I thought the price was too incredible for a 2 bedroom not to discuss. Given that the rooms may need some updating do you think $150,000 sounds reasonable for this 2bed/1 bath?

16 Comment

  • I am shopping for a place in DC now (speaking of that POP how about posting some more places that non-millionaires can afford). What I have found out through my lender is almost no bank will float you a loan for a COOP building, you have to pay in cash. Something about a COOP being different from a CONDO, a condo you own your space but the condo association owns the building, in a COOP the COOP owns everything and just assigns you a designated place to live. There are some NICE units on the market very reasonable and have been so for over a year but they can’t sell because nobody has come up with the cash, and they know they would have same problems if they were to try to sell it later as well.

    • FoxyBrown,

      You’ve been misinformed.

      While it’s more difficult, there are lenders for cooperative apartments. Check with Randall Hagner Real Estate on Connecticut Avenue. They have been selling coops for a century.

      Clarification on condominiums: the association owns the common elements with in the property and building, and the unit owners own the space within their unit’s walls with actual real property deeds and the responsibility of paying individual real property taxes.

      In a coop, the association owns the entire property and building and pays one real property tax bill, and the individual unit owners own shares in the coop with the exclusive use of the space within the apartment.

      • No, that is actually exactly what I said : )

        one point at which I was liberal was the loan, IF you can get a bank to give you a coop loan you will have to pay 60 – 80% down on the property, have a huge interest rate or have perfect credit with a lot of colatteral to back it up, so esentially for the average person,and even most above average persons, you can forget it.

        • It partially depends on the financial standing of the co-op. If a bank feels that a co-op is reckless with its money management, it will be less inclined to approve a loan – regardless of who is borrowing. Personally, I bought into a co-op earlier this year and was approved by several different banks, with 20% down (NOT 60 or 80%). I do have good credit, but I’m only 24 (so it can’t be THAT good, right?) and I’ve got student loans from undergrad (JUST undergrad) that amount to more than my annual salary.

          So don’t get discouraged and write off co-ops yet. They’re not all the same, and you definitely don’t have to be sitting pretty financially in order to get a mortgage approved.

          • Sounds like you either have a lazy RE agent, or were looking at a really poorly managed coop. I bought a coop last year with 10% down and less than 6% interest. You can’t go to just any bank or lender to get a coop loan, but there are lots of options out there. And most decent coops already have one or more lending institutions with which they have an existing relationship that can speed the process.

  • It’s “lower-level” (I’m guessing that means basement) and the co-op fee is $674.00 (!!) / month, but it’s still pretty cheap.

    These are interesting comps: – higher-priced but lower fees and look nice but they have income guidelines – don’t know any of the details about that

  • That’s pretty low fee for a coop. Remember on a coop the fee include the taxes and most I’ve seen in DC (since they’re in older buildings) include utilities.

  • @ Joe- that’s true, I forgot about that, the fee makes more sense in that case.

  • Foxy,

    Yeah your lender is way off. Plenty of banks lend to coops, in fact there is a National Coop Bank which only lends to coops.

    That being said, getting a loan for a coop is different than getting a loan for a condo. Almost any bank will give you a loan for a condo (assuming it appraises, etc) but a bank will only give loans to a coop that they have a recognition agreement. A recognition agreement is basically a contract between the coop (as a corporation) and the bank which stipulates what happens in the even that the loan needs to be foreclosed on, sold, etc.

  • Bank of America has done a couple of coop loans (usually 10 to 20% down) for clients of mine lately. Check with them.

  • I think it’s a good deal, you could easily rent it out to hospital staff. I am surprised the realtor didn’t actually post it on hospital bulletin boards. Walking to work is THE BEST!!

    It looks like the ground level units have nice big windows in the front. Not sure of the size of this unit or which direction it faces. The building is really close to green space (Soldier’s Home) and a big dog-walking area. It’s just a block to the H buses as well. It’s a little surprising to see that high monthly fee but maybe the management takes care of a lot of things. 526 Kenyon is a nice looking building that doesn’t even shovel their snow…

  • Sorry, that was an error. 526 Kenyon is not delinquent in shoveling, it’s another place

    Seems like a nice block and I have never seen people hanging around this building who shouldn’t be there

  • Isn’t there some DC tax code change coming regarding co-ops? Something like co-op sales used to avoid any land transfer tax at time of purchase, while houses and condos had to pay? Now it’s going to change so that they all pay the tax at the time of purchase?

    Another difference is that a condo unit will have it’s own lot number with the city’s Surveyors Office, just like any house. A co-op unit will not have an individual lot number.

    • Yes, Crin, our city fathers remain determined for us Washingtonians to remain the champions; for us to continue and endure as the most taxed group of citizens in the United States with continued no incentives for private sector investment and development outside of government work.

      Cooperative apartments will now have to pay a newly created recordation tax and transfer tax upon the sale of them, but they will not be taxed for real estate tax purposes individually as with condominium apartments, but rather taxed within the whole cooperative apartment building as a whole with one real estate tax bill for the coop association.

  • As to whether it’s worth it, you have to add the co-op fees of $675/month with your loan payments. Put a modest 10% down for a 5.125% mortgage gets you a $735/mo mortgage. Now your monthly fees are $1450/mo. That’s high for that neighborhood, and after a couple of months paying that bitterness would seep into your mien.

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