Tues. Afternoon Rental Option – Capitol Hill

This rental is located at 127 4th St SE:

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The Craigslist ad says:

“Available as of 12/16 – a convenient 1 br / 1 ba English Basement Apartment in historic Capitol Hill. Though it’s a basement apartment, it’s generally higher up so there are 3 windows in the front a a window in the back.

Conveniently located about 1 block away from the Library of Congress. This unit’s appeal is the location and is near all the best that Capitol Hill has to offer.

The apartment features:
– Nice quiet outdoor patio area that is NOT shared by anyone else.
– Central Air/Heat (newly replaced)
– Working brick fireplace!
– Galley style kitchen- D/W, GD, Stove, fridge
– Private washer/dryer
– Private entrance

The rent is $1,750 plus one month security deposit (min 1 year lease). Parking is street but getting the permit is fairly easy (zone 6)”

$1,750 sound right?

19 Comment

  • Seriously?

  • I’m curious to see what others say. I think this sounds about right. Not necessarily a great deal, but I’m sure it will rent at that price pretty easily, especially considering that it has a few of the features that drive cost up (washer/dryer, pets are allowed).

  • Probably about right. If you’re a Hill staffer, you will take this immediately. Splitting the place with a significant other would be a great option.

    • I’m honestly curious about something… I often see apartments on the Hill advertised as “Perfect for a Hill Staffer” – what does a typical Hill staffer make these days? I always thought they were pretty badly underpaid (at least compared to their counterparts in the executive branch).

      I don’t work on the Hill, but I figure my salary would need to be at least 50% higher to afford a place like this on my own.

      In fact, I’ve viewed a decent number of 1-bedroom apartments on the Hill (not this one though). In every single case, the current tenants are a couple, and all of the people interested in renting it are couples. Hell, I’m interested in it as a couple! I wouldn’t say that splitting it with a significant other is a great option, I’d say it’s the only option for most of the people in the market for this place.

      I think the English Basements that you’ll see left sitting on the market are the ones with stubborn landlords who refuse to rent to more than a single person, but also want to charge $1500 or more for the place.

  • It’s not right, but it will rent.

    Hate this market.

  • Just rented our English basement for $1800 5 blocks east of here to a couple. 750 sq feet, completely remodeled with all of the same amenities except a full size kitchen.

    I know people don’t want to hear it, but its market rate.

  • Maybe I just dislike basements more than most people but it’s mind-boggling to me that someone would pay this much for one.

    • I see your point, but I prefer an English basement to a similar unit in an apartment building. I like the direct access to my apartment rather than entering a lobby, then up some stairs.

      This place seems well lit, which make it seems far less like a basement.

      As for price. It sounds high, but I think it’s fair. If I still worked on the Hill I’d love how close I was to work. Of course, while this place is in the middle of “everything” on the Hill, it’s still several blocks from anything.

      As others have said. Seems like a lot to spend on a 1br 1ba, but it will easily rent.

      • English basements on the Hill are often only a foot or two below ground level. My kitchen and dining room are in the basement, and they get just as much natural light as the upper levels. Most of the basement apartments I’ve seen here– and I’ve seen a lot– had full sized windows and at least 8′ ceilings, so it really didn’t feel like you were in a basement at all.

  • Normally I think these are high, but this looks like a good deal. It’s right on top of the Capitol and Hill offices, has private outdoor space, and isn’t far from the Metro and the fun stuff on Penn Ave.

  • Definitely on target for the neighborhood.

  • I paid $1195 for my first basement apt on the Hill from 2002-2003 at 5th and C, SE. The 100 block of 4th is SUPER convenient, and street parking is usually pretty easy. Sounds like market rate to me. Alas.

  • Hey, it’s not cheap, but it sure looks like you get your money’s worth. The location can’t be beat, there are good amenities (fireplace, patio, washer/dryer) and for once the advertising does not seem to be hyperbole – it is a basement that is sunny; it doesn’t appear to be down in a hole. I’d look into it, but I have no desire to live on the Hill.

  • I live a block away from here, not in a basement unit, but in a really similar sounding apartment and this is exactly what I pay. Sadly, that’s the going rate!

  • I know it’s a rentee’s market here in D.C. but I have a quick question to ask everyone. I have a basement apartment that I’m thinking about renting but the rental laws in D.C. really scare me. I don’t want to be held captive by someone who rents my basement so I’ve never rented it. One thing that scares me is that I’ve heard that even if I decide to sell my house I have to give the renter the “first right of refusal.” Can I tailor my lease to exclude that “first right of refusal clause” (because its a private house, not an apartment) or would that be illegal? Also, I’ve let my house to family members. When I die I want my family members to be able to decide whether they want to continue renting the basement apartment, but I think the District law says that the renter has the right to stay even after the owner’s death. Can someone clarify these points for me?

    • Most basement rentals don’t have COs. You’d probably be fine. Just be careful who you rent to. In that situation it’s best not to rent your place to who ever is willing to pay the highest rent. You’re better off charging something reasonable and having your pick of tenants. Better yet, find a friend or friend of a friend.

      I’m not an attorney, but I don’t think you can exclude yourself from the law. It’s really a non-issue though. You list the house for what you want to sell it for. If they want to buy it (chances are they don’t) then you got an easy sale. First right of refusal doesn’t mean you need to sell to them for what ever they want to offer. Or the law permits you to “evict” your tenant given the proper amount of notice. So, if you know you’re going to sell you give your tenant the proper notice to move out. Length of notice varies depending on the reason (personal use, sale of home, construction, etc,) but you could get them out before you list and they have no first right of refusal.

      • You don’t know what you are talking about. OP: consult a Real Estate Agent that knows their stuff, or a Real Estate Atty. The Tenant Rights laws are serious business – don’t screw it up.

  • Agree with the others — expensive, but a great neighborhood, and from the inside, it doesn’t really look like a basement!

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