Good Deal or Not? “Awesome” edition

This condo is located at 1740 U St, NW:

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The flier says:

“Awesome, renovated, and spacious 2BR/1BA condo w/ PARKING in Dupont/Adams Morgan!!! Great light! Pet-friendly! Fantastic location! Incredibly LOW CONDO FEE!! Granite counters, brand-new stainless appliances, Bosch W/ D, new windows, wood burning FP, recessed lighting, wood flooring, and MORE!”

You can find more info here and photos here.

$461,000 ($90 monthly condo fee) sound right for this 2 bed/1 bath?

30 Comment

  • Seems pricey for a basement-level unit on a very busy street. Condo fee is great and there do seem to be windows in most rooms, but it just seems high for the level and location (location would be pretty good if it weren’t the basement unit). If I’m not mistaken, this is pretty close to the Florida/U/18th St. intersection making it even more busy.

    • +1 on that. Very busy, noisy intersection and basement unit and no metro for at least 15 minutes walking — i’d say its overpriced.

  • Almost half a million for a basement on U st? I can’t beleive it’s come to a point where we are asking if this is a good deal. It’s not. It’s demoralizing at best.

  • I would say this is a reasonably good deal. You could probably talke them down a little bit, but I don’t think it will go for way under this. Getting into the U Street Corridor seems to carry a pretty high pricetag these days and given that this location is pretty much Dupont too can’t hurt. The parking is what I think makes this a reasonable deal.

  • Alley units always smell like tinkle.

  • I continually shake my head at these listings and laugh at the people who actually think they are getting value for their money by buying them.

    I bought a 3100 sq/ft 4 bedroom/4 bath 3 story townhouse (with sep english basement) on Kenyon, with a nice yard and offstreet parking 2 blocks from the Columbia Heights metro 7 months ago for 495K.

    Yes it was in horrendous shape inside and needed 85K in gutting but for 580K I got a place 3.5 times larger, with much nicer finishes, a yard and oh…I don’t live in a dingy basement and pay 90 bucks a month for a condo fee.

    Folks need to put in the legwork, search out the deals, They are out there. I don’t understand people who spend 2 weekends going to 4 open houses who think they “understand” the DC market and throw down 461K on a basement apt on a virtual highway.

    The person who pays 461K for this will be back on the blogs in 4 years complaining that he/she cna’t sell it.

    • You mean to tell me if you buy a house for $X and put $85k of renovations into it that you will get better value for your money than buying a house for $X that is already renovated?

      Have you ever considered writing a book? Your innovative views on real estate should be documented somewhere.

      Snark aside…

      Surely you realize that most people can’t afford the downpayment on a $580k home and to then spend $85k in renovations.

      • I can’t find the house “ridiculous” bought on Kenyon on any real estate site (and I myself bought a house on Kenyon, 2 blocks from the Metro, less than a year ago), but I think you miss his point. His point is that he paid only $34K more (@ $495K) for a fee simple house. A 20% down payment would have only been $6,800 more.

        It’s true that many people would not have savings to cover both the down payment and money for renovations on such a house. Even so, his example (a house 3X the size with a yard and a a basement you can probably rent out for $1,500 per month) does suggest that the person who buys a basement condo for only $119K less out of pocket(approx. 20%) has gotten a bad deal (assuming the neighborhoods and renovations are comparable).

        • Yes, but you also understand that there are a LOT of people that don’t want to put in the time and live in sub-optimal conditions to fix up a house. You didn’t just put in 85K. You had to put in a LOT of time and inconvenience. You have to add that in to the cost of your place when comparing it to others.

        • In addition to what Anonymous 4:24 said, there are also a lot of people who don’t want to be landlords to people living in the basement of their own house.

          • You mean a lot of people who don’t want a “job” that pays $15,000 or more a year for maybe 4 hours work a month?

  • Beautiful furnishings, great location, police/fire departments at your doorstep, 10 min. walk to U St Metro, but face it, it’s still a dungeon. A dark dungeon with bars on the windows.

    • I’ve lived on this very street and it is one thing: Noisy as hell. Fire trucks, cars, honking, Adams Morgan drunkards… That alley behind the house is also majorly rat infested. Point being – not worth it.

  • I hate those bowl sinks… so impracticable!

  • I hate windows with bars…

  • I think we looked at this one last year. Did it actually get sold that time around? Looks new kitchen and new furniture with a price drop. Seems odd.

    • Good catch,

      Looks like they swapped out the countertops and appliances and repainted the yellow a more neutral and open house friendly white. Looks like they probably spent ~4K trying to update it.

      From the listing history, it appears they’ve listed it repeatedly since 4/2010.

      It should also be known they paid 340K for it in 2004, which just floors me.

      Yes, it has been 7 years but it sure as heck aint worth 120K more.

  • I wonder about these townhouse conversions. What happens when they eventually need expensive repairs/maintenance? I don’t think the $90 condo fee will be enough to build up a reserve. I would imagine it could be tough to get the individual unit owners to agree on what’s needed, and how much they are assessed for the repairs. What happens if they don’t?

    • It is all spelled out in the condo docs. It’s no different than nny larger building that has a larger condo association. A non-profit is set up to preside over the building as a whole. The condo fees cannot be just random, they are always based on sq ft and par value of each unit. And the amount the condo association needs to collect is based on a estimate of future repairs etc.

      $90 seems a little low.

  • Any basement apartment is a bad deal unless you really like living with spiders, darkness, and sewage leaks (all the plumbing runs through your unit, remember?).

    And, as the earlier posters sussed out….you’ll never be able to sell it for any kind of profit.

  • But the “dining room” can double as the “naughty stool!”

  • I’ve seen 2bed/2bath basements in that area for less.

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