Mon. Afternoon Rental Option – Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant

This rental is located at 3300 16th Street NW:

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The Craigslist ad says:

“405 Sq. Ft. 7th floor studio available now for $1,295.00

Bright and sunny studio updated kitchen and bath with a great view
2 blocks from Columbia Heights Metro
Target, Bestbuy, Washington Sports Club, Giant grocery and restaraunts
Free bike storage, and a huge 24-hour on-site laundry room
Parking is available for an additional fee

Are you a student or a recent graduate? Please ask Keener Management about our student special discounts.”

Does $1,295 sound reasonable for this studio?

69 Comment

  • #5 on the short list “$50 app fee and either $350 for studio…non refundable).

    i’ve never rented an apartment through a property mgmt firm–is it really $400 non refundable to submit an application? that doesn’t make sense.

  • Way too much. For the same price you could have a basement apartment in the neighborhood twice as big, or you could do better than that building for a studio at the same price (or less).

  • Have you people tried to rent anything within the last 5-10 years?
    $1295 is spot on for that location. And someone please show me a basement in Columbia Heights or Mt. Pleasant for that price including utilities!

    • agreed – i’ve been apartment hunting, i feel like the people who post comments like this really have no idea how tough it is for renters right now – what little is available and how high the rents are.

      basement apartments in mt pleasant and col hights at this price are not nice places.

    • +1000 Typical “you could get twice as much for half that price” reaction of PoP readers. My cousin rents a tiny 1 bedroom several blocks away (meaning less metro accessible and less desirable location) for about the same price. After looking around for 3 weeks, that one was by far the best deal we found. I think this is well priced. Maybe not a steal, but you are not getting ripped off by any means.

  • I lived in a Columbia Heights row house for two years. The studio apartment in the basement (completely renovated) was $900 utilities included. It’s definitely possible to find decent affordable housing. I can’t ever imagine paying that much for a crappy studio.

  • Holy carp no. I’ve a friend who just moved into a studio in Dupont (not a basement) and is playing less.

    • What?? One of you has to be lying, or not disclosing some major flaw that the place has. That’s just not possible.

  • I never charge an application fee and wonder how exactly it works. If 10 people want the apartment does each one pay $50.00 then 9 of them are just SOL? Or do you know when you pay that $50.00 that you will actually be getting the apartment if your info. checks out?

    • I think they (the decent ones at least) only cash the check if they actually run your application, ie. if no one else gets it first.

      • As a landlord it costs me money to run the credit applications to find out which one of the tenants is the best fit for the apartments. If I get 10 applications I would run all 10 peoples credit. That being said it doesn’t cost me $50 to run the application so the management company is definitely making a bit of $$ there..

        • Shady dealing indeed! That means apartment hunters could have to spend $500.00 if they apply for 10 apts. that they have no hope of getting! I just ask applicants to bring me as much info as they can. Those who bring their own credit reports, pay stubs & references simply go to the head of the queue. I always have high demand and plenty of people to choose from, but if there was someone I liked who didn’t have a credit report, I would then ask them to pay whatever it costs me to get it.

  • Seems to be the going rate for a studio, but damn, 405 square feet is small.

  • I think really some renters should start looking out of the district… hate to say it… hate to say it, but it is simply getting ridiculous.

    These prices seem more and more out of touch with what average residents are experiencing in terms of income.

    • Hate to break it to you, but anywhere inside the Beltway in VA is just as expensive, if not more.

      • Anywhere INSIDE THE BELTWAY?

        That casts a pretty freaking big net. I promise you I could find several thousand rentals inside the beltway in Virginia for less than $1295 for 400 square feet.

        Several thousand? I could find 10000 rentals less than $1295 inside the beltway for $3.20/sq ft per month. Was that a JOKE?

        • I’ve lived in Arlington, Alexandria, and Annandale. Apartments usually start at around $1200 (if not higher) in any neighborhood inside the beltway any of those cities (though you can occasionally find a good deal in Falls Church). The studios in the ‘burbs may be a little bit bigger, but the trade-off is you usually have to drive everywhere.

          Of course there’s always PG County.

        • Yes it’s the perceived safety, the convenience to big-box stores, and the car culture (which many prefer to walking and public transit) that NoVA renters find attractive. Not the prices. There are also a ton of professional jobs out here, so many will choose to live in NoVA if proximity to work is a priority.

          • You all are totally full of it. There are dozens of really tall apartment buildings throughout inside the Beltway NoVA that rent for a studio isnt anymore than 700-1000 bucks.

            Sure they’re not on the Metro, but like I said, you just said inside the beltway. Shit. Out in some areas of Annandale you could probably 3br for 1300 bucks.

          • Wow, you’re really out of touch. Not that I expect you to be up-to-date on rental prices in VA if you don’t live here. Lots of those really tall apartment buildings you see are really expensive! The demand is just way too high.

          • No, I’m really not out of touch, buddy. You just dont live in the places I’m talking about either.

            Seminary Road and 395, Landmark, Annandale right along LRT, a lot of Baileys Crossroads, Columbia Pike, Seven Corners, on the other side of 4mile Run from Shirlington, between pershing and 395 on Glebe Road.

            Do not give me this bullshit like I dont know anything.

            Like I said, I’ll find you buildings on top of buildings that have studios and 1brs for less than 1295. It wouldnt even be a challenge.

          • “Seminary Road and 395, Landmark, Annandale right along LRT, a lot of Baileys Crossroads, Columbia Pike, Seven Corners, on the other side of 4mile Run from Shirlington, between pershing and 395 on Glebe Road.”

            Uhh, no. I’ve lived in a couple of these locations and know lots of people that have rented in the others. Those kinds of deals are rare.

            The only example I can think of that supports your claim is someone who was renting a studio in a tall building off 4 Mile Run for $900/month, but the place was a total dump and this was before the Shirlington Village had been built.

          • A few more: along Edsall Road from Van Dorn to 395. Arlandria. Along Backlick Road right inside the beltway. All along Van Dorn Street from Landmark to King Street. All along Beauregard from LRT to King and then Walter Reed all the way to Glebe.

            Do you want me to keep going?

          • If I can find 15 managed buildings in Northern Virginia with studios that rent out for 1300 or less, will you pay me 100 bucks? PoP can broker the bet with a 25% fee.

        • You can sometimes find good deals in VA. I had a friend who was able to get a garden apartment in South Arlington for $850 (subletted Section 8 housing). Then again, that was almost 6 years ago…

        • So everyone who rents in DC is basically getting fleeced huh?

  • The building is nice and safe, the location is great, and the price is on par with the neighborhood.

    • Good for the building and the hood!

      I recommend potential residents save more in equally diverse and metro-accessible neighborhoods (that also have big box stores!) outside the District — amongst commoners.

    • I moved into a studio blocks away from there in September 2009. I was paying $875.00. So, obviously its a rip-off. I don’t fault him for trying though. There’s got to be some young sucker out there willing to pay that.

      • Spoken like someone who hasn’t tried to rent an apartment since September 2009 and has zero clue about the rental market (just like a good majority of PoP readers).

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I think some good deals are out there but after running this rental feature for over 6 months it is certainly not common or easy to find. that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If you get lucky, have a friend refer you, etc. you can find a good price. But some commenters make it sound far is easier and more common than the reality. It’s hard to believe but if you rented 2 years ago – you can’t use that price as example because things have changed a lot in 2 years! Having said that – if people know of good deals, don’t hesitate to email me at princeofpetworth (at) gmail.

    • Thanks PoP- it’s frustrating enough renting in a city as overpriced as DC, but reading comments about all these “deals” becomes super depressing…

      I found a JR 1 bedroom a few weeks ago- but went to multiple open houses for studios in the Dupont/U Street/Kalorama area each priced around $1700-1800- and they were packed. I was 5 minutes late to the first open house and 4 people had already submitted applications. This is a competitive market- these deals people speak of are not the norm.

      And moving to the burbs is sometimes not an option.

      • I see these prices, and I think the young people need to start seeing or creating another trend – and that the burbs can be an option.

        Quality of life in the city can be wonderful. No doubt!

        However, with prices like this, it might be time for another shift.

        Young people are now spending tons of money to live in DC (I paid $450 in Adams Morgan for one-room in a two bedroom in [rent control] apartment making $40K when I first got out of college.).

        I feel really, really bad for what young people are going through now — not to mention they paid far more for college! You must be aware and a little selfish. Don’t be taken.

        If the new, younger society needs to move to the burbs because that makes sense so be it. I wonder who is affording these studios. Are they all young lobbyists working for firms who take in huge corporate donations? Defense?

        All I’m saying is think of yourselves too young people. I can’t believe what I’m seeing. It’s just one more reason why I feel bad (and indeed am not blaming your generation). You’re going to get taken for all you’re worth — and you are living in a dire, pitiful economy.

        If it’s too expensive, it’s too expensive. Don’t worry if you have to move to the burbs — take care of your economics, a culture will develop where you need it to.

        • Something tells me you have a vested interest in getting young people with money to move to the suburbs.

          • Actually, I owned property that has more than doubled in the District. So sorry… no. I really think I was once in their shoes.

          • And I’m still a District Resident! And also wondering what the next trend will be. I don’t want to live in a city full of strapped pawns or rich ___ ___.

        • “Don’t worry if you have to move to the burbs — take care of your economics, a culture will develop where you need it to.”

          Ha! I finally got out of the suburbs. Was paying $650/month in rent, but I only got a good deal because I knew my landlord personally. Normally it would have cost twice as much. And let me tell you, the quality of life decrease was hardly worth it even at the price I was paying. Culture does not develop in a place as sterile as Fairfax County.

          • never really been to fairfax, but i think culture is in the eye of the beholder. CH has nice people, but i wouldn’t say it’s more culturally interesting or engaged than the burbs. there are more hipsters and public housing in CH, but, in my experience, no more real diversity or culture or intellectual curiosity than, say, gaithersburg.

          • No more diversity or culture than Gaithersburg?? That’s a pretty large statement. At least in CH you don’t have to drive 10 miles just to locate the “diversity or culture” in fact you can walk! or bus, or metro down town in minutes! And you compare THAT to Gaithersburg????? no way

  • i consistently have been looking at ads in the neighborhood, and i actually thought the park monroe (i think this building?) was slightly cheaper than this. i have a 530 sq/ft studio across the street at the yorkshire for 1150 – utilities included. the majestic also has some ads out for studios at 1300.

    so unfortunately this does seem to be the going rate for apartments in the neighborhood. these buildings continue to raise rents whether your paycheck goes up or not. but it’s where i want to live. what can we renters do about it? collective bargaining? tomorrow everyone go tell your landlords that your rent is over inflated!

  • I have no idea whether its a good deal or not. But I dont think I’d want to pay $500 bucks a month to live in a 405 sqft studio… wow. Not a good deal for me!

  • In regards to move to suburbs comments, assuming you are only going to be young once, it is much better to suck it up and live in a city and enjoy it instead of moving to the suburbs and waiting for 20 years for the culture to get there.

    • i’m sorry, is “culture” being used here as “proximity to bars” or something? see comment above in response to anonymous 5:32.

      • No, I actually meant restaurants, galleries, museums, movie theaters that show more than blockbuster crap…But bars are a nice touch too, especially when you don’t have to risk your life or lives of others when you walk home from them.

        • i think we’re slipping past each other on what culture entails. if you’re looking for good restaurants, i think you’re as good in the burbs as you are in the city. for galleries and museums, i’d be interested to see the breakdown of who’s going on a regular basis re: burbs vs. city. it’s easier when you live close, but i’m not sure that folks actually take advantage of it (i’m sure some do, not convinced that many do). i guess what i’m really pressing at is a sense i get that folks congratulate themselves for living in the city and being “interesting” and into “culture,” but really are just substituting one consumption and gratification-based lifestyle for another and turning their noses up at the burbs to make them feel cool. i don’t know you, maria. maybe that’s not you. but if what you’re really looking to do is go drink, don’t call it culture.

          • Let me clarify what she meant…. Centreville (or other burb city) compared to Columbia Heights (or wherever in DC) does not have nearly the same amount of diverse restaurants, museums, theaters, old architecture, monuments, diverse people, ETC. within the same distance. And sure, maybe people living in DC don’t visit the museums every Saturday amongs the tourists (I sure don’t) but by immersing yourself in the city by living in it, you don’t need to visit museums to experience culture. It exists all around you, as you walk to and from the metro, stop in for a live jazz performance at Bohemian on a Friday night, or bike past the Washington Monument on a Sunday afternoon.

            It’s not turning up your nose if you feel this way, it’s simply wanting to enjoy being in a city and the way of living that goes with it.

          • rosie and maria:

            i think the ease of transportation claim is true re: suburbs vs. city. claiming a quality of life (convenience and proximity to things) benefit to the city is different than claiming a culturally-superior experience in CH vs. rockville or U st vs. frederick. i also call BS on the diversity claim. that obviously depends on the suburb and what part of town you’re talking about. if you want to say “livability,” i’m with you on the burbs vs. the city. but it you’re talking culture and diversity, i think you’ve got a flimsy argument.

  • I use to live in that building in a studio just like that, to be honest, the place is alright but there is definitely no perks to the building (card laundry, tiny “bar-sized” sink, mini fridge and mini stove in the kitchen.) Sometimes woke up to no hot water.. not fun..

    The only asset to this building is the location..

  • I too lived there – same floor actually. It wasn’t bad at all, but the prices did continue to rise even though we were under rent control (I don’t want to think what the people who moved in after us are paying). Management was pretty nice, responsive to any problems we had, nice neighbors. They even throw a holiday party each year. But yeah, the prices are getting sky high.

  • These landlords are straight masturbating with the price of rent in DC. I mean just makin love to themselves all night long. The sad thing is these young fools paying this absorbent rent, just to say ” I live o U street.” You want diversity? Why don’t you snobs move off of Benning Road behind the Shrimp Boat? There’s so diversity for ya!

  • I just searched on Craigslist for DC apartments under $1,300.00 and the most disturbing thing was that in the first 50 listings, only 4 were possibly legitimate. How does one even begin to find a place here?

  • It’s called GET A ROOMMATE. And yes, Wong Tong is taken!

    • For real, there are PLENTY of affordable spots on CL listed for roommates! I just did a search for a friend last week and found several great spots in DC for under $900.

  • Wow! I am the landlord of a 900sq foot 1bed/1ba basement unit in Capitol Hill that I rent for $1275 with its own washer dryer and much nicer amenities then this place.

    Looks like I’m getting screwed!

    • +1 – I rent a full one-bedroom 750 sq ft, completely renovated, not a basement (but no W/D) for $725 at 18th and H NE.

      If you can’t find it – you’re not looking hard enough.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        In many people’s opinions (including my own) 18th and H St, NE is not comparable to many parts of Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant/Adams Morgan etc. It is also not comparable to the Eastern Market/Barracks row area as well as other parts of the Hill. But if you’re happy that is the most important thing. I’m just saying it is a mistake to think the rent at 18th and H St, NE is comparable to some of the other areas we look at.

        • I’m near 10th and D NE, right in the heart of the Hill. 5 mins to Lincoln Park, 10-12 mins walk to H Street or Eastern Market.

          Granted, its further from the Metro, but easily walkable to the Capitol and in my opinion much cleaner and friendlier than Mt P or Columbia Heights.

          But as you said, POP, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

          Now excuse me as I go raise the rent on my tenant!

    • I think it’s been mentioned before that rents are somewhat lower in Capitol Hill than in most NW neighborhoods. For some reason (maybe the preceived lack of nightlife) the Hill is less desirable to renters, although demand is quite high for those of us that are buying.

      That said, I think you are charging more than enough for rent, unless it’s very close to Eastern Market or Capitol South, in which case you might be able to get away with charging a little more…

    • More like you’re NOT out to screw your tenants!

      I’m in the process of trying to find a reasonable studio or 1bed on the Hill–chosen for its proximity to my job and my significant other–and let me tell you, it’s been tough to find much under the $1500 mark.

  • Why does everyone get so worked up on suburbs vs city? The rent is high because demand is high. If there weren’t a ton of people that want to live in that place for that price I guarantee that it would not be so much. Personally, I do not think its a good price for that apartment, and thats why I live in Brookland. For 300K I bought a row house close to the metro and am happy with what I have. However, in maybe Columbia Heights my place would probably be twice as much – sure someone would think its a good buy – but I would not. But at the same time there are plenty iof other things that I like that I have bought that other people have thought I was crazy wasting my money. It is all in the eyes (and values) of each individual.

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