Judging Pop Ups – 905 2nd St, NE (And It’s For Sale)

This pop up is located at 905 2nd St, NE:

The listing says:

“Just completed, never occupied turn-key investment. Each of the 3 2bed/2bath units are desirable. Unit 3 has private roof deck with great views of the capitol. Check rents at senate square and you will find the numbers work great. Watch the trains arrive as rent rolls in. A sophisticated play for owner occupant as well.”

You can see some photos here.

What do you think of the pop up? It’s yours for $1,600,000.

44 Comment

  • Cheap looking pop-up and it’s a block from the railroad. I don’t think it’ll turn anyone into Donald Trump.

  • Need an explanation. Did someone buy a regular rowhouse and turn it into 3 separate 2-bedroom units? And they justify the 1.4M price increase over what they paid based on the complete renovation and creation of separate units? The units must be really small – with each one averaging 500 sq ft.


  • At least it’s brick.

  • I think I saw Ikea bathroom fixtures…not that there’s anything wrong with that. I would expect something a bit more high end for $1.6 million.

  • can anyone explain to this out-of-towner what a pop-up is?

  • claire

    Ugh. Maybe if it were painted? And I know it’s close to the metro and all, but that comes out to more than 500k per unit and that seems like it’s pushing it to me…

  • Just happened to walk by this Sat, that pop up iis a lot uglier in person

  • That thing popped up like a Kellogg’s Pop Tart™!

  • $1,028 per square foot for a cheap looking renovation? They are clearly on drugs.

  • Can someone explain the kitchen windows? Are they blo9cked by the counters… or are they in a different room – I can’t tell.

    other than that… haaaaahaaaaaa. That is crap.

  • $1.6 milllion? Try reducing the list price by a million.

  • AND, I have this on good account, the neighbor is an arse. One of the renovating parties wanted to leave the job because of the way the way the husband was constantly ‘in their face’. Good luck with future residents of that money trap.

    • don’t you live on 2nd poo? would you happen to know that arse neighbor really well? hmmmm.

    • I might become an arse or worse if this thing was going up next to my house.

    • The neighbor is not an arse. He told me that the contractors putting the roof on the pop up illegally attatched their scaffolding to his roof and he did go after those guys. In addition, the neighbor had to deal with numerous other issues associated with the renovation which negatively impacted his home. For example, the contractors on the pop-up cut his internet and cable television lines and did not inform him. Basically, the neighbor did what anyone in that situation would do.

  • Not seeing what was there before, I’d say this place looks like a decent flip: pretty nicely designed with the bonus of what appear to be entirely new systems. It’s definitely not a top-of-the line job, but is certainly a lot better and more stylish than most of the GDON flips. And as far as pop-ups go, this one looks pretty decent to my eye, although there needs to be an actual deck on the roof to protect the membrane.

    That being said, in no way can I imagine paying $1.6 large for this property. If the redfin information is right, the price needs to drop by at least half to be competitive on a sqft basis. And, unless something has changed very, very recently and very, very drastically, this part of NE is not somewhere I’d recommend paying such a premium price.

    • I don’t think the Redfin calculation is correct – in fact it’s not clear at all. The 1,556 sq ft is probably the pre-addition calculation for the single family. This is now a 3 condo building with a total of 6 beds and 6 baths over three stories.

      2 bed/2 baths in NoMa/Near NE sell for around 400k a pop – but that top condo would probably be well over 500k with the nice roof deck and better spot in the building. So you could roughly say that the units are worth 400+400+600, maybe more. That’s 1.4 mil right there, which might be closer to what the building sells for.

      If an investor has 300k for a down payment, then can get a 15 year loan at 8k a month. They can probably recoup all of that, maybe more per month in rent. I don’t know though, I’m certainly not a big money real estate investor!

      • I’d like to meet your banker, since commercial real estate loans are in the 6.0 to 7.5 percent range these days.

        Even at the low end of that range, an 80% mortgage for 15 years would be around $11K/month. And that doesn’t include the lost return on the down payment, property taxes, maintenance, etc.

        No way somebody is going to rent these places for $4k+ each, regardless of how nice the roof deck is.

  • Well, the popup is bad, but the original building was not that great anyway. This reno also shows off one of the worst things done nowadays, namely no muntins in the windows. What the hell are muntins, you say? In the house on the right, each window is divided in two by a piece of wood. That piece of wood is a muntin. The renovation has no muntins, just one big piece of glass, and it doesn’t look right at all.

    • dt

      Aren’t those just normal double-hung windows?

      • i think he’s talking about the piece of wood that would separate two sets of double hung windows.

        i would disagree that it looks odd without that though.

    • aesthetics aside, those huge, single-pane windows are horrendous to operate since they always have a tiny and cheap handle on a gear system that is guaranteed to freeze up/break/jam. For that reason alone I’d not buy this house.

  • Looks like a tugboat, only uglier and stupider. The windows are atrocious. See also last week’s discussion on historic neighborhood designations. This is why they happen.

  • I’m pretty sure it should read “Each of the 3 2bed/2bath units IS desirable,” or, “All three of these 2bed/2bath units are desirable.”

  • dt

    I looked at this place when I was house hunting in 2010. It was a complete wreck – my realtor wouldn’t go up the stairs to the 2nd floor for fear we’d fall through, and there were even places on the 1st floor you couldn’t walk. This was a complete, and I mean complete, gut renovation – they must have had to tear out every last thing except the brick walls and the dirt under the floor. Even with cheap Ikea fixtures, it must have cost a fortune to fix up and renovate.

    Also, this area has exploded recently. Senate Square, which you can see in the background, is full and in high demand. Their rents for 2 bedrooms are probably the $2500 range by now. At 4% interest and 20% down, a buyer is looking at a mortgage of $7,777.58 per month, which is pretty close to $2500 x 3 = $7500.

    That said, it’s pretty clearly a fantasy by the seller to think they’ll get anywhere near $1.6 million. The backyard fits at best 1 car, and it looks like they covered part of it with the extension anyway, so it’s street parking only for at least 2 units. There are no amenities (gym, pool, concierge, movie theater) like Senate Square. You can rent an entire house in the local neighborhood for what they’d have to charge for one of these units, which makes it a total non-starter.

    BTW, you can’t really tell in the photo, but that house has a faded but nifty old advertising mural on the side. I’m glad they didn’t paint over it.

    • +1, although I think the 2bds in Senate Square are way more than 2.5k. I know the condos there are hella expensive.

      This place is in a great location, right near transit – perfect place for added density. I like it.

    • I live in the Senate Square building. My 1 bedroom + den is $2800. The 2 bedrooms are $3K+.

      • dt

        Wow, prices have really gone up, then! When I lived there I had a 1BR/1.5BA for $1750 – and I thought that was pretty pricey.

  • I live in the Senate Square building across the street. The price seems way high on these units. The roof deck, which I can see from the roof of my building, looks very nice however.

  • For those talking about the 1500 square feet, according to the tax records that are for a two story single family house, it is 1500 feet. Clearly that does not take into account the addition which added at least 1000 square feet.

    If I am selling this place I am pissed at my realtor for this listing which doesn’t list the true square footage or say anything about the size of the units.

  • I love the phrase “turn-key investment”… Like there’s just money out there laying around for the first person who decides to buy this property.

    • Yeah. It seems like it would make more sense for the current owner to try to sell it directly as condos, rather than trying to get someone to buy the whole building. Seems like there’s room for one investor to profit, but not for two.

      • Ha, maybe the owner is playing the whole “I’m good at developing real estate but I have no idea how to sell it effectively, so please just take this place off my hands so you can profit from my work” angle?

        • dt

          Yeah, I was wondering about that… if it’s such a good money generator, why doesn’t the renovator just rent out the units directly? They can hire a management company to take care of all the details and still have lower costs than somebody else buying the place and then renting it out.

          • Maybe she/he got a year loan and has to make a balloon payment for the whole balance soon.

          • dt

            Good point, I hadn’t thought of that. Although couldn’t they just refinance to a more typical investor loan now that the construction is finished? Although maybe then they wouldn’t have the capital to start another renovation. Hmm. This is why I’m not in real estate, I guess.

  • brookland_rez

    I used to live on Parker St, right around the corner from that. I actually knew the people that owned it before the current owner.

    It’s not the worst popup I’ve seen, but 1.6 mil is a joke.

  • Christ that is ugly

  • They could have built-out using 8 shipping containers. That would have been faster, easier and looked just as good.

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