Good Deal or Not? Big Building Edition


This condo is located at 1441 Rhode Island Avenue, NW:

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The flier says:

“Top floor studio w/ amazing southern light & views, large walk-in closet & bath, hardwoods, oval & arched windows, granite kitchen, great use of space. Located in sought-after 5YO bldg w/ concierge, fitness center, club room. AMAZING LOCATION – Only 1-2 blks to the best on 14th Street + Whole Foods, coffeehouses, etc.”

You can find more info here and virtual tour here.

We haven’t looked at a big building like this in a while so I thought it’d be interesting to check the prices. This one is a studio going for $314,900 with a $278 condo fee. Think that sounds reasonable given the location?

And because it’s a big building there were a couple more units for sale. A 2 bed/1 bath is going for $469,000 with a $470 condo fee. And a 1 bed/1 bath just went under contract for $425,000 with a $377 condo fee.

15 Comment

  • Prince Of Petworth

    In my defense I am a bit under the weather… Forgot to post the weekly Wed. house porn today. Will do so tomorrow. Sorry about that.

  • Seems really high to me. I’m in a big building studio (near 16th and R, NW) that looks similar in size/finish that was 145k less. Though mine is a co-op so slightly higher monthly fees.

  • If this is the building I think it is, it’s right across the alleyway from Whole Foods.

  • paying for that top floor view

    not a lot of studios with closet space like that.

  • This is a nice building; it’s relatively new but it has a classic look that fits in well with the neighborhood.

  • Why would they have a sliding scale condo fee? It seems like a condo fee would go to pay for the shared amenities in the building. Seems a bit shifty.

  • I’m pretty sure condo fees are always a function of the sq footage of the unit.

  • @ragged dog
    condo fees are based on square footage. If you have a 2500 square foot condo you pay more to maintain the building than if you have a 500 square foot studio.

    • yeah, this is standard as i understand it. the square footage defines and owner’s % ownership in the building, which in turn is used to apportion condo fees. in my building, my condo dues are lower than my neighbor who has a 2 BR unit. but then our dues include utilities. it seems utilties are not included in this unit.

  • I wish more new-construction buildings would be built with a classic, appropriate design like this.

  • that seems really high to me. I thought the point of a studio was for it to be cheap cause why else would someone buy one? You can’t live in them for too long. I guess you are paying for amenities and location. I live in a 1,000 sq ft condo in Columbia Heights, three blocks from metro, old bldg, new renovation and my tax assessment just dropped, again to $290,000. Oh and its a one plus den size. I think people need to get over the whole foods fixation and buy in neigbhorhoods with greater opportunities for value and appreciation.

    • It’s $570 a square foot, most new/renovated construction in the area goes for $500 -$600 a square foot, so it’s about par.

      Yes, you can get a bigger apartment in Columbia Heights for the money—you can also get a 3000 sq foot house in Prince Williams County. Not everyone wants to live YOUR lifestyle. The place doesn’t come with parking, so the new owner will likely walk to work downtown, walk to bars on 14th and 17th and walk to, heaven forbid, Whole Foods for groceries. (Though I’m sure the owner could easily walk to the Safeway at 17th and Corcoran if they so choose. )

      As for, “people need to get over the whole foods fixation and buy in neighborhoods with greater opportunities for value and appreciation.”

      The price of DC real estate revolves around proximity to downtown, specifically to 17th and K, this place being closer than yours, it’s not much of a reach to expect it to hit $1000 a square foot before your home does. How long that may be is another story….

  • God, I’m getting old – I remember when this was a big dirt parking lot! This is a pretty nice looking building, but I still kind of miss the one big old tree smack dab in the middle of the lot…

  • Nice building, good amenities, good location, and as far as studios go, this one is nice. But I don’t get the economics of a place like this from most buyers’ standpoint. There are lots of 1BRs and 2BRs to be had in this town — we’re not exactly New York when it comes to population density — and for not much more than the 315k this place is asking. Unless you’re really into keeping an admirably small footprint, why would you buy a studio that, at these prices, likely wouldn’t be profitable as a rental and has very little room to appreciate in value, instead of something bigger? Do people buy these, live in them a few years, and then move up? You’d drop a lot on the down payment and the transaction costs to buy this place — we’re not in a 0-5%-down world anymore.

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