Good Deal or Not? “LIKE A FRENCH COUNTRY CHATEAU” edition (reader request)

This home is located at 2633 15th St, NW:

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The flier says:


You can find more info here and a mouse on house tour here.

I’ve loved this buildings for a long time. So glad to finally get a look inside one of them. Pretty wild. What do you think of the home itself? Does $799,900 ($1,900 monthly homeowners fee) sound right for this 3 bed/2.5 bath?

48 Comment

  • what is a $1900/month homeowner’s fee?

    • Better yet, what do you get for a $1900/mo HOA fee? If there’s no happy ending in the fee, I’m not interested.

    • I think this is actually a co-op instead of a condo. The homeowners fee includes payment of an underlying mortgage and there is an earnest money requirement. There is also something about a “coop rec agreement” in the fine print.

      • me

        Earnest money, okay, but that should be like 10 grand TOTAL. And paying off someone else’s mortgage? No thanks.

    • I agree, what is the $1,900.00 fee for? It’s a very nice home. I wish I could afford a home like this.

  • That is a really cool place with unique finishes and layout. I would think it was a good price, except for the HoA fee. That seems insane. I’m assuming there is some special assessment that has pumped up the fee. This is one of the things that scares me about condo boards and HoAs, that the fees can become such that the house is not sellable.

    • I was thinking the same thing. This is a great house that is essentially unsellable.

      So glad I bought a SFH and not a condo.

      • I see your point in this particular condo, but when your roof and windows need replacing, you’ll wish that you owned a condo.

        • really? I just replaced my roof. It cost me just under 5K. Not something I wanted to pay. But that 5K roof is now guarenteed for 15 years. I bet condo fees are well over 5K in 15 years. This person’s condo fee will cost him that in 3 months.

    • Isn’t this a co-op? We looked at another unit back in 2006 and I’m fairly sure it was a co-op back then. I vaguely recall our agent commenting because I’d found the listing online and it hadn’t come up in his search because he hadn’t been looking for co-ops for us.

      Either way, that makes it awfully expensive. I really like the place, though.

      • I think you’re right. We also looked at a unit here a few years ago and adored it–but that monthly fee was a no go, even back then.

  • In the place of the $1,900 a month condo fee you could just have easily as said “Spent nuclear fuel stored onsite” because they both make that place equally as unsellable.

    $1,900 a month right now, with interest rates where they are would support almost another $350,000 in mortgage, so you are basically paying 1.15 million for this 3 bedroom place, and that fee is only going to go up.

    No…horrendous deal.

    • Not to mention the fact that the fee isn’t deductible, unlike the interest on your hypothetical $1M mortgage.

    • I don’t just like the spent nuclear fuel comment, I love it. I don’t $1,900 a month love it, but I love it none the less.

  • I love these buildings. But that condo fee makes this a no-go.

  • Cool and unique. Does the master bedroom have any real windows? It looks like they just have fake windows looking into the main room on the first floor.

    Also, what’s that industrial type building that you see out of the windows? That could be noisy or smelly.

    Honestly, if it wasn’t for the fee I’d call my Realtor right now and buy it though. This is the fourth or firth place I’ve seen with fees at or near $1000 per month. Are people nuts? That’s a mortgage itself in many parts of the country.

  • Oh and I love how the exterior photos show a “nearby starbucks”–the one on DuPont Circle!!!!

    And you wonder why people don’t trust Realtors. . .

  • I’m confused: This is the whole house, no? Why does it even have a homeowners’ fee, much less one so ridiculously large?

  • Many of the rooms have awkward layouts- what is up with the triangular den? Also the master bath is not connected to the master bedroom, which is not great either. I pay less than $1900 for my entire mortgage of a 4BR house in Petworth so I definitely do not think that price is worth it, despite the location.

  • You can get a house for just $15,000 in rust belt cities like Detroit and Cleveland. Therefore, this is not a good deal.

  • Your total monthly payment for this place — assuming 20 percent down payment and including all fees, insurance and taxes — would be, what, $6K?

    Good God.

  • It is, how you say, a condeau?

    If so, tres non!

  • As stated above, $1,900 a month? Does that get someone in there to scrub my toilets and do all my dishes?

    Also – the listing neighborhood is “Dupont/Adams Morgan”? Not even close.

    • Not saying this is a good deal, but . . . much of the $1900 fee IS deductible as it includes real estate taxes. It also covers insurance. It’s basically the equivalent of a similarly priced condo with a $900 to $1000 a month condo fee.

    • Nope, but if it had said “Columbia Heights/Adams Morgan”, woulda been fine.

      I can see the actual price being a fine deal – it does have what it says it has, but not with a 2nd mortage just for the HoA.

  • Take a look at listings at the Watergate to see how much a co-op/out of sight monthly fee kills your resale value.

  • This place is right off 15th street; there’s zero neighborhood ambiance not to mention it’s right around the corner from the infamous 14th and Girard intersection…Oh and the layout is a huge FAIL(I just LOVE kitchens with no cabinets). The price is redic and so is the $1900 fee. I lived at 14th and Harvard for a few years…

  • I agree with everyone saying the fee will kill the sale. why not just buy a $1.2M house instead?

  • Cramped, dark and awkward, and as someone already mentioned you could use that insane HOA fee to buy a $1m+ house (or support the mortgage on quite a nice rental property!). Bad deal.


    I’m just making a funny. But there’s nothing funny about a $1900 / month HOA fee.

  • think about buying this place and then trying to resell it in five years with the Homeowner’s fee is 2500 per month-…This is a bad investment.

    POP Question of the day. Knowing that the HO Fee can and probably will go up over the years. How much would you pay to buy this place?

    My guess is that its an 800-850K house. Putting down 20%, your mortgage (5%) for this home-roughly $3500
    So that leaves a sale price of roughly 400K – $1600(+$1900HOF) mortgage.

  • Awful deal, only a idiot would buy this.

  • houseintherear

    but it’s so PRETTY!

  • Couldn’t you pay your share of the underlying mortgage and then shrink your HOA’s? If so that is what this homeowner should do before selling her/his unit.

    I like the character of this place but writing a check for $1900 each month would quickly make me resent this place.

  • i love this place. the location wouldn’t deter me, and i love how unusual the layout is.

    yeah, the price is crazy, but what a fun place.

  • It is super cute, but looks noisy, and I don’t like the sound of that crazy HOA fee, it’s like 2/3rds of a Manhattan one.

  • I lived there, not that unit. It’s an amazing building that recently had major structural work done. That’s why the monthly fees are so high. For 30+ years it was a bohemian paradise, only they didn’t do any maintenance… so now it’s only for the super wealthy who want something truly beautiful and don’t care what it costs. And they are out there.

  • Lisa Weinstein owns the same unit in the same building and said it was a coop and the $1900 is largely deductable as an underlying mortgage. Horrible neighborhood without much commercial or nice houses around to justify such a large price tag. And underlying mortgage is new -they just renovated last year.

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