Good Deal or Not? “Located on LL, but lots of sunshine” edition

This condo is located at 1621 T St, NW:

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The flier says:

“PRICE REDUCED BY $46,000! 2BEDRM. /2BATHRM. APT. BUYER/INVESTOR!!High Rental Income. Building built 1925/remodeled 1994. Apt. updated, looks like new. Located on LL, but lots of sunshine. Washer/Dryer in Unit. Within a few blocks from Dupont Circle, on “T”St. at its intersection with New Hampshire Ave, & “17th”, 1621 T St. , N. W. Tambien hablo ESPANOL”

You can find more info here and photos here.

This 2 bed/2 bath has been on the market for 222 days. Asking price is now $379,000 ($312 condo fee) from original asking of $425,000. Considering it is a lower level what do you think it’ll actually go for?

37 Comment

  • Basement apartments blow!!

  • I don’t see the sunshine anywhere – just a little barred window in the bedroom. Might be a great deal if you work nights and need to sleep in.

  • Is that a basement? If so, good luck selling it.

    I’m looking in that neighborhood right now and automatically reject anything that’s a basement. I know several other doing the same.

    I’d rather move to NoVa than live in a basement.

  • “Lots of sunshine” my ass. Those pictures are terrible. They should have done the photo shoot at a time that sun actually comes into the apartment (assuming that time of day exists).

  • Took me a while to figure out that LL means lower level.
    When I did my interest plummeted.
    The joy of that building is being on a high floor and the light and the views.
    No joy in the basement.
    No wonder the price was reasonable.

  • No, $379K is not acceptable for a condo in this city, period.

    That is why so many are for sale, and so few are being bought.

    I hate to break it to those who bought at the peak of the bubble, but that is the way it is. And if they start requiring 10 percent down, it is only going to get worse for you. Keep paying those condo fees!

    • MH, I have to commend you. People make asenine generalizations on this website all the time based on their own personal opinions, but this one takes the cake. Not only do you totally condemn condos (understandable why you don’t like them, I think you have support out there on that one), but to label a price that it almost middle of the road, if not low, for most condos in DC as “not acceptable” is beyond ridiculous. Regardless of what you think, the value of a condo or any other piece of property is what people are willing to pay for it. Just because some condos (and homes) are overpriced and aren’t selling doesn’t mean that there aren’t $500,000 condos that are underpriced out there.

      That said, I have no idea if this particular one is a good deal or not. It’s a great location though.

      • Nice try Mr. Mrs. realtor! 😉

        Nope not based on assumptions. Based on the belief of affordable housing. The average price for housing is way out of whack of the average income. Overpriced hosuing in the area is a ticking timebomb.

        • Average income for where??? The incomes in this area are astronomically high. If you took out the unfortunately high levels of unemployment in some of the lower income pockets of the city and looked at just those who live and work here, you would see that $500k condos are not out of whack at all.

        • The local housing market finished correcting in 2009. The bubble is over. There are no new bubbles coming soon. Lending is tight, and as you mention, it may get tighter with stricter requirements. The last bubble was all about loose lending practices, remember?

          The median income here is $85,000. That makes this condo affordable to your average family. It helps if you have the facts about the city you live in.

          • Here is data from the previous year that tells a different story is all about how one reports the data, so stop lecturing:


            Estimated median household income in 2009: $59,290
            Estimated per capita income in 2009: $40,797

            Even at 85K, the 1/3 takehome rule would have no one spending more than $1,500 a month in housing costs. This place would only be considerd affordable if you had a large downpayment.

            As everyone says, “THAT is the price of housing in DC.” Well, if that is the case then too many people are putting too much of their take-home income in housing. The DC market is still in a bubble.

            The rent is too damn high.

          • Entry-level professional salaries are what, $40k? And it’s closer to $60k or more in a technical field– I know a guy fresh out of college who makes $75k in IT security. So if you have two working professionals buying a condo together their combined income would be $80-120k, or more if they’ve been working several years.

            I realize not everyone in DC is a working professional, but you have to admit that DC has an awful lot of them.

        • “Overpriced hosuing in the area is a ticking timebomb.”

          I disagree. Unless the building height restrictions are lifted, the demand for housing in DC will always exceed the supply because so many people want to live here. All those people need housing, and it’s not like the rental market has great deals to offer. That’s why prices remain consistently high, especially in desirable neighborhoods– the demand’s always there!

          • The height restriction thing is totally a myth. There’s still plenty of room for high-density housing in DC without putting up skyscrapers.

          • You don’t think being able to build higher in dense, popular neighborhoods would affect prices there?

          • I think that it’s already possible to dramatically increase density without doing away with height restrictions. And it’s not like existing housing is already at 100% occupancy. I think that housing prices in this region at the present time are artificially high for a number of reasons, none of which are demand.

          • Rental vacancy levels are extremely low right now, so there is a housing shortage in that respect.

            You can look at a number of factors which are depressing prices: lack of good schools and crime are the big ones. Also, demand is increasing as the population in DC rises for the first time in generations. To say that demand is stagnant disregards the biggest trend in urban migration in decades.

        • please go to manassas

        • I agree that the ratio of income to housing prices in DC is excessive, but this condo is located in a very desirable location so it’s not a good example to use in order to argue about affordability. Most people can’t afford to live in the middle of Dupont/Kalorama/U St.

    • That’s funny– when I saw the price on this condo I assumed it was a studio or 1-bedroom (even that would be a steal at $379k in this location). Was shocked when I read further and saw it was a 2 bed/2 bath! Where in this neighborhood (or anywhere inside the Beltway) are you find 2 bed/2 bath condos for under $400k?

      • It’s true that this condo is on the low-end price wise but you’re exaggerating a bit. In this neighborhood $325-350k 1BR’s are the norm, ~$200-250 for studios. Under $400k for a 2BR is not common in this particular area, but you can find it if go north of U St.

        • It’s not much of an exaggeration. I know people looking for 1-bedroom condos in the suburbs and had to pay just as much. This is a good price for the area.

  • Even if it is a good deal, which I question, the market for a basement apartment is so low…as most of the posters have already mentioned, most people wont even look to purchase a LL condo even if it is cheap.

    best advice from my realtor, “Never purchase a basment apartment–it will be near to impossible to sell.”

  • Rented a condo in that building for close to 3 years. I like the location, close enough to u street metro and to dupont north metro and also close to adams morgan. however, since it is a basement and those apartments are below ground, there is little sunlight and feels like a dungeon below ground. I looked at plenty of basements and not for me. That particular unit is i think a touch smaller than some of the other 2 brs in that building.

  • People really hate basement apartments and condos, eh? I can see renting one, but never buying.

    • exactly – I think most people would agree with you and that’s probably why the realtor begins the listing by touting “High Rental Income.” What I don’t know is how much the typical investor wants to make on top of paying their mortgage in order to make it financially worth it for them to buy it and then have to deal with pain in the ass tenants who turn over every year or two.

  • I would say that 350 would be a better starting price, maybe a bit less. My partner and I just purchased a place and we did look at a basement apartment in that building. It was nice and large, but we did not want a basement. I would disagree with MH above. There are people looking and buying, they are just making sure they get the best deal in this market which means that places sometimes stay for on the market longer. Also, some sellers do not always realize that the market has slowed and price their place higher than they should. That being said, one place we looked at was snapped up in a week and another was put under contract before we could look at it.

  • Obviously no one wants to buy this to live in – but would it make sense to buy and rent out?
    Suppose you got it at $350K put 20% down and had a 30 year mortgage at 6% – you are looking at $1680/mo plus $312/mo HOAs, $340/mo for taxes and $75/mo for insurance you are looking at about $2400 in carrying costs.
    Would anyone rent a 2 bed basement apartment for that price?
    I’m thinking not – so this really doesn’t make sense as an investment property. Proof why you shouldn’t buy a basement condo.

    • I’ve been looking at shares the past three months. Splitting a 2bd/2ba in that neighborhood (dupont, bordering u st, bordering adams morgan) for $2400 total? That rental/share would be snapped up in a heartbeat.

  • Note to dipsht realtor:
    If it’s truly lower level “but lots of sunshine,” DO NOT TAKE YOUR PHOTOS AT NIGHT. Kinda looks dark, no?

    • I’m always surprised by how often I see this. I know it gets dark early in the winter, but that’s no excuse!

  • you could probably get a mortgage for lower than six percent and you definitely wouldn’t have to pay 75 a month for insurance. the condo fee would likely cover insurance. so you’re really talking about 2200 a month, and a 2br 2ba place in that location would rent for at least that even in the basement.

    still i wouldn’t buy that place. it blows.

  • I toured this unit over the summer. The only view was of the brick and concrete from the sides of the window wells. It was depressing and not overly nice either. Small closets.

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