Thurs. Afternoon Rental Option – Columbia Heights (Owner Request)

This rental is located at 13th and Euclid St, NW:

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The Craigslist ad says:

“Beautifully renovated and fully furnished 2 floor condo in restored 13th St townhouse, 4 blocks from the U Street Metro and 5 blocks from Columbia Heights. Open floor plan with exposed brick, large kitchen with island, gas stove, and stainless steel appliances. First floor has full bathroom, living room with gas fireplace and 42″ mounted flat screen TV, and open dining area with table to seat 6+. 2nd floor has master bedroom suite including Jacuzzi tub and large private deck. Large second bedroom/office with customized walk in closet.

* Dishwasher
* Washer/Dryer
* Large front patio and rear 2nd floor deck
* Cable/WiFi/Gas/Water Included
* ADT Security Included
* 1 year lease minimum, 2 years max
* No Pets
* Family Friendly”

The owner writes:

“My husband and I bought our place just about a year ago, but now have an opportunity to live in Shanghai, China for the next two years and are looking to rent our place out. We have it posted on Craigslist, at $3,000 furnished, but would love to hear if your readers think that is a reasonable price. Also would love to know if you or your readers have any tips on getting it onto the World Bank listserve, or have other similar ideas.”

What do you guys think – does this 2 bed/3 bath converted condo sound like a reasonable deal for $3000 per month. Anyone know how to get listed on the World Bank or other helpful listserves?

32 Comment

  • Maybe the place looks great, but looking at the 4 crappy thumbnail photos, it doesn’t look like anything special worth more than $800-900 per room, or about $1600-1800 total.

  • $3000 is a dream. Realistically??– $2250 tops. Even more realistically– $2000.

  • I live a block from there, and for a 2b/1 bath we pay 1600. I’d say $2000-$2200 sounds realistic.

    • $3000 seems high, but not out of the question. This is an unusual rental in that it is 2BR/3BA (including a master suite). A single level 2BR/1BA in that general runs near $1600-2000. Add the fact that it has a master bath, 2 levels, and a private deck, and I think it is definitely up in the $2600+ range. I think it would easily rent at $2800/mo.

      Our landlord has no trouble getting tenants for the 2BR/1BA, nicely renovated units (~900sq ft) that he rents at 17th and U for $2300-2500/mo (slightly different location, but still comparable)

  • Sorry 3k is not close to a good deal, with all thats offered I would have to agree with other posters 2300 tops.

  • Hmm, I’m gonna dissent with the commenters so far- I think there’s a good chance you could get $2500. It sounds quite a bit larger than your average 2BR.

  • $3000 sounds like too much to me. I could see it going for $2500 if it’s nice (hard to tell from the pictures.)

    Regarding “World Bank and other useful listserves”: ask your friends who are employees, students, etc. if they would be willing to post your ad on the relevant listserves. If you don’t know anyone like that, then stick to Craigslist, etc. World Bank and other folks know how to use that too.

  • Considering it’s fully furnished with a DW & W/D and includes most utilities, i don’t think it’s THAT bad a deal. I think you’re more likely to get close to $2700, max.

  • I live next door to these condos. Saying it’s 4 blocks to U street is a little misleading- the block between florida and clifton is the longest block ever and it’s up a huge hill. I love love love our block, but it’s not extremely close to a metro.

    As for the actual condo- I’ve always thought they look interesting from the outside, and the interior sounds very nice. However, I can not imagine paying that much in this location for a 2 bedroom. $2500 would be more realistic, especially since all utilities are included.

  • no way—the area is still definitely sketchy and you’re not super close to a metro.

    my friend owns a house in the area and rented a 2bdrm with a dedicated pkg spot to his roomate for $1300.

  • Simply looking around other listings (CL etc) you can find the same for a heck of a lot less.

    It’s a lot of space, but its mostly unusable in a renters mind. It isn’t like they can add in another roomate or anything.

    And I second the other persons critique on your “realtor like” streeeeeetching of the distance to the metro. Google has you at 3/4’s a mile. Not exactly what one thinks of when they think of “4 blocks” and there is nothing that turns me off more than someone so obviously stretching the truth on something so easily checkable. You may get some mindless person who doesn’t put much thought into it to sign a lease for ~$2500, but I wouldn’t be on it.

    • I get that there is a long uphill block (I walk it every day), but if you count the blocks it really is 4.

    • I live on the same block and feel that it is an adequate description of the distance to U St Metro. It is a 5 minute walk (10 at absolute most when going up hill).

      Also the outdoor area of this unit is lovely! The neighborhood is not really all that sketchy, it’s just as sketchy as another city block.

  • I’m the OP. If it matters any, the condo is about 1,600 sqft, so probably about twice the size of your typical 2 bedroom. Also obviously quality matters, but in general do you think “furnished” is more desirable or less?

    • Furnished is not that desirable for a 1 year lease, and very doubtful for 2. Possibly attractive furnished for a 3-6 month rental to someone on temp. job here. (And World Bank people have their furniture moving costs paid for by the World Bank.)

      Have you really researched what else is available for $3000.00 a month? The amenities that you found important for your personal home (jacuzzi, stainless etc.) don’t mean as much to a renter as location, parking and price.
      I’m agreeing with the general feeling of $2200 – $2500. (If the second bedroom is really a good size.)

      • I’m usually one who thinks most places listed on here are over-priced, but I have to disagree with most here. I live a block away in a 2br 2 story condo with a deck and pay $2100, BUT, yours is much bigger at 1600 sq ft, nicer and comes with furniture.

        Also, unfurnished for a year lease is definitely more desirable. If you’re going somewhere for 2 years, can we assume it’s state department related or the like? They will pay for your storage costs…and then you can probably get $2500-2700.

    • I would say furnished is less desirable for a 1-2 year rental. Most people have their own furniture already. The only people who wouldn’t are recent grads (who probably can’t afford that much in rent) or someone corporate who’s looking for something for only a month or two.

  • I think your best bet is to rent through a real estate agency that has connections to government clients. If you’re going to be in shanghai, you probably don’t want to deal with tenant issues and fixing things.

  • You might want to look into a management company – they will suggest a price and then rent it for you, take care of screening applicants, collecting rent, maintence, etc.

    That said, I think $2600 sounds right (might be worth more but hard to tell from pics).

  • Talk to high-end property rental agents. Back when I used to work in that field, Time and Place had DC listings. They might find you several shorter-term tenants, but they’ll take care of the management.

  • Most people seem to look at this rental from the perspective of a single person who’d add roommates — as if every townhouse rental in DC houses a handful of strangers instead of a family. Parents could take the master, and can put maybe 1 or 2 small children in the other bedroom. Lots of play space downstairs.

    I like the $2800 number someone mentioned above, although I think the OP should shouldn’t be afraid to list it above that initially to gauge response. You can always de-list and re-list. I also like Xi’s suggestion above.

    • and to that I ask, would they really want to rent all their furniture to someone with kids?

      Well, in general I don’t really get why they don’t store their furniture. If you’re gone 2 years, you’re going to get someone who has their own stuff. I think furnished is rarely a benefit to someone staying that long, and who can afford something of this quality.

    • Are there really that many families who can afford $3k in rent (income of $150k a year) who are looking for a rental in Columbia Heights? Buy a house in CH? Sure, but a condo rental?

      • In DC, the median income for a single person is $70,000.

        Your typical citizen, making $70,000 and spending 1/4 of their income on rent, has a rent of $1500. Very affordable. Double that income and you can see how DINKs or working couples can afford a place like this. Who do you think rents all the tiny 2 bedrooms in Dupont that go for around this much? There’s a huge market for high end rentals in DC.

        And for the last time, it’s not practical for everyone to own. Just because you CAN purchase, doesn’t mean you should.

        • You’re forgetting about taxes. I make a little more than the median income, but if I paid $1500/month I’d be spending half my take-home pay on rent.

  • I would think $3K is high, but then, Highland Park has 1BRs going for over $2K. For a fully furnished place, I would think someone from the Bank, or a diplomat or whatnot would pay it, but definitely not going to get that from your typical Craigslist crowd. To get on the WB listing, you simply need to know someone at the Bank.

  • The place may be “beautifuly renovated and fully furnished” but you would not know it by looking at the pictures. There really should be more of them and they should match up with all of the amenities being described. $3k/mo. is a lot of money and prospective renters will want to know what they are getting for that price. I don’t know whether parking is common for similar units in that area but for $3k/mo. I would expect a place to park a car.

    • Agreed re: the pictures. OP: Don’t use the craigslist picture poster. Host your images somewhere else and use large images in your ad, so people can see detail.

    • I agree. Maybe have your own website as well to talk more about the place and what you might negotiate on. Craiglist would be good just to get the folks who are looking on-line who are in the $3K price range (as not everyone is a 20-30 something just out of college w/o kids). Give enough information and then add the URL to your website for more information. There you can post more pictures, higher resolution pix, maybe even post a video tour.
      Some suggested going with a rental management company. I know some who do and some others who don’t. Considering the very renter friendly laws of DC, I suggest a management company. However, when a friend moved to the midwest her employer had a management company ‘help’ her rent out her place. It never rented, as it seemed they only advertised on Craiglist using really low-rez photos and ALL CAPS. She wound up selling the place. People who I know don’t use a management company, have local contacts to take care of maintenance and other issues.

  • I like the $2800 too, but $3000 doesn’t seem out of the question. We rent out our ~1200sf 2BR condo in CH for $2275. It only has 1 bath, no w/d in unit, not furnished and not as updated (old building)…and we had a list of people who wanted it.

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