Thurs. Afternoon Rental Option – Columbia Heights

This rental is located at 14th and Monroe St, NW:

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The Craigslist ad says:

“Direct bus to WB/IMF/White House/State Department/USAID, etc (both16th 14th St. routes) less than 1 block from house and 25 minutes door to door

Brand new basement apartment 3 blocks from Columbia Heights metro.800+ sq ft.
Low utilities
Great unfurnished apartment..
Separate entrance, security alarm, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, large living room and recessed lighting.
Tile floors.
Access to small backyard. CATS/DOGS WELCOME”

$1300 sound reasonable for this basement apartment?

42 Comment

  • I know someone renting a 1 BR on Park road near there, well above ground with lots of light, for under $1500. All utilities included. Based on that, I think this is a bad deal.

  • When did they rent the place they have for under $1500? It’s important to factor that into your comparison.

    • they are currently renting it.

      • When did they sign the lease? How many years ago? If they recently signed the least for that price then it’s a fair comp – if they signed their leave five years ago, you can’t compare the two. That’s what I’m getting at.

        • I don’t know like in January. Jeez are you renting this dank basement out or something? It’s overpriced. This is an expensive F-ing basement. Trust me.

        • Regardless of when they signed the lease – if the landlord has fewer than 4 units the apartment is not subject to rent control, so whatever they are charging is what they think the market will bear.

          If this apt. included all utilities plus cable and wireless and is really comfortable for a couple it would be an OK price for a basement on a scrungy corner.

  • There is no oven in this unit, just the two countertop burners under the microwave. I feel like that really limits the potential market.

    • I don’t see a refrigerator either.

      • Whoa – didn’t even notice the no refrigerator and oven! That makes this maybe worth $800.00 a month! Kind of a souped up roommate in the dungeon situation.

        • I visited the apartment and it was very nice; of course it had a fridge but no oven which for me does not matter. They just wouldn’t accept birds so was not an option for me.
          Lots of living room space but small bedroom otherwise great place and according to what I have seen not overpriced considering the low utilities and cable/wifi cost

  • Off topic question, I suppose, but where do folks post/find apartment listings other than on craigslist? I ask this for two reasons. First, I’m about to list an apartment for rent (in dupont/logan) and need advice on where to list it. Second, every time PoP posts a craigslist ad for an apartment PoP readers bash the place as asking way too too much and claiming that they or a friend are getting a much better deal, but I never seem to find anything on craiglist that backs up any of these claims.

    Help me out, please.

    • The amazing deals people claim they have are either unadvertised, misrepresented, or outdated.

    • I’d use Craigslist to determine a reasonable price, and if you don’t mind screening calls/emails from a few nutjobs I’d post it there as well. Guaranteed you’ll get plenty of interest.

      • Ok . . . but if I don’t post it in craigslist where else would I post it?

        • Newspaper classifieds or a “For Rent” sign on the door, but anyone with an internet connection’s going to check Craigslist first.

          • thanks. i’ll also be sure to post it on PoP so everybody can rip me apart!

          • +1. I may look in other places for an apartment, but after I look at CL first. It’s just everyone’s first stop – why hide your apartment?

        • I would have no qualms with posting just to Craigslist. I live in a place I found on Craigslist. And I think everyone else I know did the same. It really is the best place to find/offer an apartment. Yeah, you might have some people who aren’t serious about the place, but a few emails will clear that up right away. Just be specific in your listing, include a lot of photos, and you should be set.

        • City Paper

        • I guess you could go with one of those rental amangement companies, but they’ll just post it on Craigslist too.

        • whats that major newspaper in town? i can’t remember the name, but they have classifieds.

    • People claiming there are better deals out there than something like this are crazy. This is not a bad deal people! 14th and Monroe is an awesome location. I guarantee they will have interest immediately. Don’t be afraid to hear negative comments when you post you add, you will get plenty of people who are interested.

      *disclosure: I’m assuming the kitchen does have an oven and fridge that aren’t pictured.

      • I agree that that block of Monroe Street (if it’s between 14th and 16th anyway) is one of the nicest in the city in terms of community and charm (and I don’t live there). I’m not such how important that would be for someone who is only planning on renting for a short period, but it does have that going for it (though it’s a little unclear where exactly this is).

    • When we were looking for our place, padmapper was useful – it compiles listings from a bunch of sources (including Craigslist) and shows them on Google maps, and you can filter by rent, bedrooms, pets, etc. Good way to see some of the bigger buildings that don’t necessarily post vacancies on Craigslist.

  • The price seems about right for the location, assuming there’s nothing major wrong with it (I’d assume that there is a refrigerator and a stove along the wall of the kitchen we can’t see in the picture?), and as long as utilities and the pet deposit aren’t too high.

  • I think this seems totally reasonable. I can barely find studio apartments near the metro for under $1300 so I have no idea where all you “what a ripoff” people are looking.

    • That is an incredible deal!

      Two blocks from the metro… good bye car payments, car insurance, hello zip cars.

      Some adventurous young person, not jaded by age or anonymity, will snap this up quick.

      And I sure there is a refrigerator somewhere, maybe behind door #1…

    • You must not live in DC…. this is cheaper than most basement 1 bedrooms in this neighborhood. Going rate is at least 1500

  • The key is to rent in buildings that yuppies find unappealing, but are actually nice. Not really trying to troll, just being serious.

    1457 Park Road is such an example. It’s really nice (despite being old and creeky), but had a really shady reputation in the past. It also looks crappy from the outside. The units are condos though so their conditions can vary.

    We rented there as recently as last year. When the cable guy came to hook us up, my petite bourgeois girlfriend was there alone. As she tells it, when she opened the door he stared at her, looked around, and said “It’s okay, we’re gonna get you out of here, everything will be okay. Follow me sweety.” He thought she was being held against her will.

    We rented a nice big one bedroom for under $1,500. All utilities included.

    When we tried to sublet it a lot of people wouldn’t even come in the front door.

    • Exactly.

      My roommate and I paid $1200/month for a large house in the heart of “Koreatown” (Annandale).

    • THIS THIS THIS THIS. The trick is to find an older building managed by one of the established rental companies and you can find above ground one bedrooms for $1500 or less. They’re hard to come by because they turn over infrequently.

  • American U Housing – for $100 you can post an ad accessible to current/former students of all the local universities – it has some pre-screening options – worth the C note

  • I am TRULY shocked people would count themselves lucky to pay $1300 + utilites for this light-less cave. TRULY. And I rented, last year, in the area. A block away.

    I don’t think the good deals are misrepresented. I just think you have to look hard for them, and a lot of people around here don’t want to work at it (they work 60 hours a week already, so I can’t blame them).

  • i think this is a good deal. i just concluded a search for a 1-BR basement apt (i wanted outdoor space) and the places that i saw listed at this price were horrible – truly. it might be a little plain looking, and almost no light, but it’s newly renovated. if you prefer windows, you can get a studio at this price in the neighborhood, but not a 1-BR.

  • I actually viewed this place when I was looking a month or so ago. It doesn’t show in the pictures but the ceilings are LOW, I’m 6’1 and had to duck. It has some sort of duct work or something that drops it low in spots, I would have knocked myself out. The rooms are small, and the kitchen was very small and perfect for someone who never, ever cooks. It’s a lovely block and a very nice family upstairs, but I literally could not stand in it.

  • i live two blocks from here in a 1 bedroom basement without utilities for $1100 plus i have a full-sized kitchen. the people claiming this to be a good deal have never lived in a basement and are not factoring in the subterranean aspect. my basement depresses me, and i’m willing (in my next apartment search) to pay extra for some light.

    i would never assume anything (i.e. a non-pictured fridge and oven) from a craigslist ad…that “kitchen” is RIDICULOUS 😛

  • This apartment has been listed on Craigslist for a while now. The initial ads disclosed that there was no oven, and that the ceilings are low in many spots. The newer ads have dropped these notifications, but not dropped the price. No thanks.

    • You might want to check again; the price dropped and if anyone was interested they would have obviously seen the low ceiling and lack of oven when they visited the apartment. I guess they preferred people to see for themselves.

  • I live at 11th and Fairmont in a 1 BR basement. Pay 1350, all utilities included. Our ceilings are quite high in the living room and bedroom, but only about 6.5 feet in the kitchen and bathroom.

    We have a fridge and an oven though…

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