Good Deal or Not? “Beautiful three level condo” edition

This condo is located at 1001 East Capitol St, SE:

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The flier says:

“Beautiful three level condo in 2-unit row house prominently sited on the southeast corner of 10th & East Capitol. Main level living room with hardwood floors and fireplace, open staircase, upper level MBR suite, lower level eat-in kitchen and guest suite. Lives like a single family home with professionally landscaped front yard and 1/2 block to Lincoln Park.”

You can find more info here and photos here.

This 2 bed/2 bath is going for $495,000. OK, what am I missing here? This seems like an insanely good deal. Am I blanking on something extremely obvious?

Across the street is a 2 bed/1 bath going for $449,000 (but it’s a lower level unit) photos here.

24 Comment

  • Really? It’s a 2BR condo for $500,000. I’m not saying that’s overpriced, but it’s nothing special either.

    Or were you thinking you get the whole house?

  • The kitchen desperately needs an upgrade but still seems low

  • It does seem low for that area. Much nicer than the $449K one, that’s for sure.

  • It is a basement – so you get all the issues that come along with that. Seems like the ceilings might be low and overall a little cramped – but I’m tall and clumsy.

  • what’s the condo fee?

    • I’m not seeing a condo fee either. As long as it’s not really high this looks like an exceptional deal. This is one of the best locations on the Hill!

  • It’s not a basement… It says 3 level condo. It’s just a two unit house so it looks like one unit is in the back and one is in the front so I’m assuming you share the yard. For this location, it’s a great deal.

  • It _seems_ like a good deal… but I’m wondering what the condo fee is.

    To me, the main drawback would be that the kitchen is in the basement. (And, as folks mentioned, the kitchen is out-of-date in appearance). Part of the reason that “open” kitchens are so popular these days is that they don’t exile the cook(s) to a separate room. The basement kitchen seems a bit dungeon-like; I wouldn’t much enjoy preparing food in there unless my guests were downstairs in the dungeon with me.

    Probably also means a lot of running up and down stairs between the living room and the kitchen… or just giving up on using the living room much of the time, putting a TV in the basement, and spending a lot of time in the basement.

    • I don’t think the kitchen is in the basement. I don’t think there even is a basement. Unless I’m missing something.

      I actually have an above-grade basement kitchen and I love it. Not dungeon-like at all since it opens into the backyard and gets plenty of light.

      • The kitchen is in the basement. This was on the market a while back.

        • I went to an open house there 2 years ago, and thought that the basement level was small and musty. The main floor is also small. On the plus side the yard and address are both great.

  • The layout stinks – way overpriced but will probably fetch if that’s the market rate. I wonder how big the master bath is…it looks really narry considering door on 1 side and wall opposite making the width the size of the sink vanity, which seems narrow. I’m going to assume it has a toilet and a tub/shower since it’s supposed to be a full bath and master no less. It must be poorly laid out and cramped. I wonder about the size of the 2nd bedroom. Kitchen (not updated enough for that asking price) in basement with a small eat-in area but no real dining room. Not really my thing – sorry.

    • “way overpriced but will probably fetch if that’s the market rate.”

      You do realize the second part of your sentence contradicts the first, right?

      If it gets asking price it’s not overpriced.

      • Yes and no. 2005 market rates were overpriced, right? That’s why the market eventually crashed, and some and people who bought at market rates then probably feel like they spent too much. Of course, the results in DC were not as harsh as the rest of the country, but the point is that those phrases don’t have to contradict one another.

      • Really? You’ve never paid too much for something? If they get what they’re asking, they will have done well. Just because you might get what you’re asking for doesn’t mean you’re not paying more than what something is worth. Market rates don’t mean that something is being sold at the correct or true or actual value.

        • Excellent point. It could be overpriced. That’s a lot of money, and even though the market on Captiol Hill has been rock solid throughout the RE market crash. It *could* have crashed. Which would have meant that the housing stock here was overpriced.

          Therefore this particular house is overpriced. Or something.

  • Actually, from looking at the photos again, it looks like there’s a window in the kitchen (above the table) — it looks like it’s more of an English basement than a truly submerged basement, so maybe not as dungeon-like as I previously thought.

    Nonetheless… after looking at two different photos of the kitchen, it looks small. The space between the cabinets and the partly-opened wall looks to be only slightly wider than the refrigerator.

    Oh, and it looks like the whole house has baseboard electric heat, which is supposed to be really expensive.

    Nicely staged and nice photos, BTW.

  • Somehow I didn’t realize the first time I looked at the photos that the “dining room” was the space adjacent to the kitchen — I was thinking there was an upstairs dining room.

    So maybe this layout wouldn’t necessitate running up and down stairs to get from the kitchen to the dining room… but that “dining room” looks like a functional eat-in kitchen, not like a place you’d want to entertain guests.

  • I wouldn’t want to buy a 2-unit condo. That means you have to deal with the other person when you’re making big decisions, and it’s too small to afford a managment company. You don’t even have an odd number of units to break a tie. The only way I’d do this is MAYBE with a close relative or friend and a detailed agreement about how to make decisions and that we’d pay into a repair fund each month, or to buy both units and rent one out.

    In addition to the basement, dated, kitchen, the open stairs would make me nervous as a pet owner and hopefully a future parent.

    • Good points

    • Agree. We looked at a house in Shaw that was part of a two-unit condo. It was tempting because it was two full
      bedrooms and baths and 1200 sf for not that much money.

      We opted for a smaller place that was all our own at the advice of a real estate attorney. situations like that can always be bad because what if one person refuses to pay into the escrow for roof and other maintenance. what recourse do you have?

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