Good Deal or Not? “Ultimate urban living” edition

This condo is located at 777 7th St, NW:

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The flier says:

“Rarely available 2BR+Den/2BA penthouse. One of the largest units in Gallery Place. Ultimate urban living w/ restaurants, shopping & metro right at your doorstep yet peaceful overlooking a tree-filled courtyard. Features include: huge bedrooms & den, walk-in closet, hardwoods, granite counters, balcony. Amenity rich building with fitness room, residence lounge, 24hr desk attendant. Rental Prkg.”

You can find more info here and photos here.

It’s not often we look at big building in Chinatown so I’m curious what you guys think of this one. Does $599,000 ($1,345 condo fee) sound right for this 2BR+Den/2BA penthouse?

Side note: why do you think the condo fee is so high?

25 Comment

  • Seems reasonable for that location and square footage. But I can’t begin to understand that condo fee.

  • $1345 is my mortgage, more or less!

    I wonder if that includes some kind of special assessment? Like, are they renovating the lobby/renovating the gym? Do they have some exorbitant anemity like a 24/7 concierge AND 24/7 on-site security team?

    With a condo fee that high I would assume that part of it is going to salaries for building employees… or something…

    • Yeah, I was thinking the same thing! $1345 is actually higher than my mortgage, and I have more square footage! Now granted, I don’t live in Chinatown (the location is awesome) but I’m willing to give up that luxury.

      The listing doesn’t do a good job of describing what the high condo fee covers; it obviously doesn’t include a parking spot which you can apparently rent…

      Still, on the location alone, I think someone will bite.

  • You can purchase a whole lotta house for the note + the condo fee.

  • me

    That condo fee had better be per quarter.

  • Re: condo fee. It’s crazy b/c this building is relatively new. If they need major repairs so soon I wonder if it means the construction was shoddy?

    Re: location. Different strokes, but I’d have a hard time living at that particular intersection. Would be great for a Wizards season ticket holder, though.

  • I know older people that have a condo fee that high in the area – at that point you are basically paying to have a full on 24/7 concierge – they pick up and drop off dry cleaning, arrange for baby sitters, buy you tickets to events, take care of your pets, etc.

    Yeah, its ridiculous, but if you have the money and don’t want to have to worry about doing anything, then meh.

  • Strange how over half the photos seem to be of common areas. I’d like to see more photos of the unit. And ditto what everyone is saying about condo fees. Do they include heat and A/C? If so, they might not be that bad, but they’re still steep.

  • That condo fee is more than my mortgage (also for a 2BR/2BA) too! I don’t live in an “amenity-rich” building, but still… wow.

  • Blah – no character, unappealing neighborhood and astronomical HOAs. Also – there is no spice storage in the kitchen and is that a flourecent light fixture in the kitchen – ala tract houses from the 1970s/80s?

    If people would really pay that much for a concierge – perhaps I’m in the wrong line of work.

    • “there is no spice storage in the kitchen and is that a flourecent light fixture in the kitchen”

      What a funny thing to complain about! The cost of changing a light fixture and installing some sort of spice storage mechanism is a drop in the bucket.

  • I walk by this place all the time and wonder who lives there. I think the way to think about this, is that it’s somewhat like a $700k condo with a reasonable fee. Difference is that that much of your note goes down the drain every month.

    Still, I think it’s okay for some high roller. It’s a very strong choice to live right in the midst of Chinatown, but obviously, there are some advantages there. If you like bustle, this is it. You could entertain like a king.

    • Yeah, and $700k would be fair for a 2-bedroom/2-bath in this location wouldn’t it? Still, I’d be concerned that the fee keeps going up, as they tend to.

  • this particular section of chinatown is a craphole.

    there also don’t seem to be enough windows in the unit. for $1345 condo fee, I’d want a 24-hour butler.

  • $600K, $1350/month fee plus $450/month in property tax. For that it better be a pretty special place.

    -No view.
    -Several rooms don’t even have windows.
    -Crappy appliances and a flourescent fixture in the kitchen.
    -Parking isn’t even included…

  • @steve- why is that part a craphole? I don’t understand…

    Boring condo, and the condo fee is just crazy. No parking? Bad deal.

    • everytime I walk that strip it’s overrun with loud and obnoxious people and the retail stores there are predominantly chain restaurants and shops that aren’t very good. I get the feeling there isn’t much of a community there — though I’d love to be wrong about that — and it just doesn’t feel like a neighborhood. a few blocks in almost any direction is a totally different story.

  • $1 per square foot is a high, but not unreasonable, condo fee.

    What is unreasonable is that they expect top dollar for an apartment with 3 windows facing a courtyard.

    And the place is way dated. I clicked on the pictures and thought, “builder special circa 2004” and low and behold it was last sold in 2005. If you want to be high-end you need to be high-end or else price so I can make my own updates.

  • I lived in this building for awhile: the reason that the condo fee is so high is that when this building first opened a woman fell down an open elevator shaft there and died, and there was a massive law suit, which the condo association and developer had to settle. I think it was on Thanksgiving night, maybe in 2006 or 2007.

    Also, the fee does not include any concierge services whatsoever. The building is mostly quiet professionals with scattered rental units and “executive” apartments. Neighborhood is convenient, but not “charming.”

    This is probably around the right price for this large apartment. I think someone will buy it for close to this price in the next 30 days.

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