Thurs. Afternoon Rental Option – Petworth (owner request)

This rental is located at New Hampshire Ave, NW at Upshur:

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The Craigslist ad says:

“This is a basement studio apartment of a row house with a rear entrance. It’s located in Petworth, just 10 minute walk from the Petworth Metro station. This newly renovated apartment is a loft style open space that runs the full length and width of the house with a full bathroom and kitchen. Kitchen has all new appliances, and bathroom has full-sized washer & dryer. Near Howard University, Columbia Heights, U St shops and restaurants, perfect for a single person or a student. $950/mo utilities included. There is one thing that you should know about this space – the ceilings are relatively low (7’ or so with heating pipes that hang down from the ceiling to about 5’10 in places), so extra tall people, this is not the apartment for you. Only looking for a non-smoker with no pets. Requires first month’s rent plus $950 security deposit. Full application/credit/reference check ($35 fee). Available immediately.”

Do you think $950 sounds reasonable? If not what do you think is a more realistic price?

27 Comment

  • Um… is a ceiling that low even legal?

    • That’s the least of the problems with legality. I’m not one of these people who demands apartments be the Ritz (or even have a CO), but you’ve got to at least have front egress. This place is a massive fire hazard.

      Personally, I think an apartment with only “rear” (I guess that means dark spooky alley?) access in this part of Petworth is worth about $700. Not close to metro, and the advertisement that it’s close to U Street is just an attempt to mislead out-of-towners. It’s absolutely not close to U Street. Or even Columbia Heights, for that matter. I assume the owner is reading these comments — so please take that nonsense down. It’s just a lie.

      • It’s actually closer to Tacoma Park than it is to U Street.

      • I agree with a lot of what you’re saying in this post, but the apartment is not FAR from metro. This side of Grant Circle is close to metro in my book.

      • This really is a leisurly 10 min walk to metro, which I would call “close”. Agreed though on saying it is close to columbia heights and u street. Why not just include Dupont Circle?

      • I disagree. It depends on your definition of close. To me, a five to ten minute drive to all of those places is close.

      • Incorrect about front egress. That point has been covered on the DCRA web site. You need “at least one point of egress” from each livable area. In a studio, that means the back door is fine.

  • Too low of a ceiling and about 100 too much.

  • From

    RD // March 24, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Reply


    I see that in Section 404.3 in the Property Maintenance Code that basement rooms in one- and two-family dwellings occupied exclusively for laundry, study or recreation purposes, can having a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet
    8 inches. So, does that mean I can have a legally rentable basement apartment that consists of a bedroom of at least 7 ft height, with a recreation room, kitchen, and bathroom at height of 6′ 10″? Thanks

    dcracommunications // March 25, 2010 at 3:20 am | Reply

    I obviously can’t approve from here, but it sounds like it meets the code. Inspectors take into account other variables obviously and make the final determination. But it definitely sounds like a good candidate

  • Aren’t loft apartments typically distinguished by being 1) being at a higher (or even the top) level of a building, and/or 2) having high ceilings? This is a basement with extra-low ceilings. How can one even call this loft-style?

    • in real estate parlance, “loft” is meaningless.its usage can denote one or more of the following:
      open floor plan.
      exposed brick
      galvanized steel
      exposed ducts and electrical pipe.
      an open mezzanine
      tall ceilings.

      it used to mean a large industrial space converted into living, usually including a partial second floor. but thats long gone. its a shame that marketing has screwed up out language.

  • This sounds exactly like a place my ex rented on Foxhall. Exact same price and only one creepy rear exit.

    The bed sat on a platform in a corner of the room where the ceiling was about 5 feet. I used to bump my head on the ceiling when we used to do it.

  • 700 maybe.

  • >5’10” is extra tall? interesting. besides this place being completely illegal to rent and a massive fire hazard as someone has already pointed out, $700 is more like it.

  • Loft = Losers Only Fall for This.

  • In the event of a fire, can’t you egress through a window or up the interior stairs (assuming it is not locked?)
    Loft is not the best word, open space maybe.
    This is a very short walk to the Metro. No idea what Petworth basements are going for these days, though. I am still recovering from all those 3+ bedroom houses in the 20011 zip selling for under $300K last month. Ugh.

    • A basement apartment needs “at least one point of egress” from every livable area. So in a studio, the back door is good enough. Up the interior stairs is not a legal point of egress, since it does not take you to an outside area.

  • Overpriced, may go for $750. For $150 more in rent, I live in a similar basement apartment (same ceiling height, full kitchen, washer/dryer). -Except- Mine is a 1 bedroom with front and back door, front and back yard, I can live with my bf and dog, and am 5 blocks from columbia heights metro and 4 blocks from Petworth metro. I know cohi is overpriced for the hipster and intern set but grant circle for that price isn’t worth it.

  • For the same amount, you can live in a basement with a normal ceiling and no exposed pipes, so this is a terrible deal. And how is this anywhere near U Street? I mean, you can walk the 10 mins to the Petworth metro and then get out at U Street but that’s not what I think living near U Street means.

  • just because rural hicks define “close” by driving distance, doesn’t mean that’s applicable in the city. You’re close if you can walk somewhere in 5-10 minutes. Claiming Petworth is “close” to U Street is not subjective, it’s deliberately misleading. By that measure anything in DC is “close” to anything else.

    • Yes, rural hicks… and everyone who owns a car. dumbass.

    • I live pretty close to the rental in question and I think U street is close in that I can take the 64 bus to 11th and U in under 15 minutes. Maybe easy to get to would be a better choice of words than close… However, it is 3 minutes on the metro from Petworth to U street. It isn’t like the person said it was in walking distance….

      I swear unless you can practically see it out your front door people in DC don’t think it is close. A 20-25 minute walk is close for me or if I can get to it via public transportation in less than 15-20 minutes.

      Getting to Dupont, Adams Morgan… heck even Takoma is much harder then getting to U Street from that location.

      As for being deliberately misleading…. kind of hard to do that with Google maps right at people’s finger tips… again the person didn’t say within walking distance.

  • i think your asking way too much for the area and the size of it.. i pay $900 with water included for a 1 bedroom apartment by Taylor and 8th St.. 5 mins to metro.. you should re think the amout you are asking for.

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