Good Deal or Not? “warehouse unit” edition (reader request)

This condo is located at 2125 14th St, NW:

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The listing says:

“2BR/2BA warehouse unit at Union Row. Hardwood floors, large windows with tons of natural light, spacious kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances, high ceilings, separate dining area. Custom shelving in both walk in closets, laundry room with W/ D in unit, garage parking included! Walking distance to metro, restaurants, U Street, 14th Street and Yes Organic Market.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 2 bed/2 bath is going for $599,000 ($435 monthly condo fees.)

64 Comment

  • I looked at these when I was in the condo market and while the living area was relatively spacious, the bedrooms were tiny. I think the model had a twin daybed in the 2nd guest room and that was pretty much all that could fit in there. I wouldn’t pay $600k for this place.

  • Way over priced and the condo fee is really high for a newer property. That said, I hope they get it so I can sell my close by condo of the same size for 200K more than I though….

  • Considering that I could walk 3 blocks north and pay $150K less for the same unit and square footage, I’m not inclined to call this a good deal. And besides, it’s not even in the “cool” part of 14th St. Do you know how long the walk to Room and Board is from here?!

    • About 8.5 minutes?

      Agree with you on your point about this being around $150k more than the surrounding area.

    • When I first saw this thread, I thought – wow, that seems high. I think 2 bed/ 1 bath would be about 100m less. You do get a 2nd bath and parking included. I’d say it still seems like it’s a lot but maybe not quite as overpriced as I was originally thinking. That said, I can’t imagine wanting to buy this place. Regarding the condo fee for a new building, I would guess that because it’s a new building, they are trying to build some sort of cushion or reserve.

      To plebofpetworth: What’s the cool part of 14th Street? (R and 14th?) – heh. I’m not trying to be snarky, am curious is all.

      • Apologies – I meant to say that a 2 bed/1 bath would be about 200m less since this one is being offered at 599m. Yay me for messing up that basic math equation.

    • There’s a reason why it’s $150k less three blocks north. It’s because you’re on Euclid. Enjoy your death trap, ladies!

      • Haha…exactly. Some people still fail to grasp the fact that DC is still very “block-by-block,” and something a few blocks away can have a $100k difference in pricing.

      • I live close to 13th and Euclid and I like that area. i’m a woman in her upper 20’s and have never felt unsafe (but am obviously aware of my surroundings because I live in a city). Euclid, Belmont, Clifton…they aren’t what they used to be. It’s a lot safer now if you look at the crime statistics. There is actually less crime compared to u street or columbia heights metro. Why be so closed-minded and base your unfounded opinion on what you heard about the area a few years ago?

    • Seems about right to me. I don’t think the places going for $450k are comparable. Bought in CH last year but looked at a bunch of places off of 14th St (Clifton, Euclid, Harvard, etc.).

      Finding a walk-up – vs highrise or floor in multi-unit house – wasn’t easy, and most of what we saw didn’t come with parking.

      Also, 3 blocks at least doubles the walk to metro, restaurants, etc. You’re paying for location.

    • Not really a good comparison at all. Sure you can go three blocks north, but then you are 5ish blocks from the metro, as opposed to two-ish, and 5 blocks from U St, instead of 2.

      You can go 20 blocks north, and this place would probably be 200k cheaper. Not really sure how that is relevant though. IMHO.

  • I saw one of these condos on Property Virgins (or maybe house hunters?) not too long ago. If I remember correctly, the girl ended up purchasing it. They look great but that is pricey.

    • I saw that episode, too – it was House Hunters – one of those episodes where I was thinking – don’t buy any of them!

      • me

        Nope, it was Property Virgins. I have intimate knowledge of that episode. 🙂 That unit, bought years ago for $579k, was recently sold for $595k.

    • I recognized it from that too! I think I saw that episode years ago.

  • deal! especially considering that the rents in the neighborhood for apartments. even with the condo fee you pay a lot less a month. love the neighborhood. you guys are crazy, this is 2 blocks from the metro! cant beat it.

    • love that it’s two levels and comes with a secure garage parking spot. i havent seen any two level condos this nice for that price. i’m calling it a deal

  • this was sold new 4 years ago for $575, so this person isn’t really making any money on it after realtor fees.

    • Maybe they bought it too high…and are trying to not sell it for a loss, or too much of a loss.

      • the one two doors down sold for the same price in a week. clearly it’s priced right. you get what you pay for. sweet spot.

  • It’s a 4 minute walk to Room and Board. I’d say this is part of the “cool” area of U St. I live at 14th and T so I can throw a rock and Room and Board but that’s not why I picked the neighborhood. The condo is right by Yes (more like crawling distance than walking) and by Smucker Farms, Busboys and Poets, 9:30 Club, Marvins, and everywhere on U St is no more than a 10 minute walk, including the metro. I’d say the area is on point but the price is high. There isn’t much north between this area and Columbia Heights worth seeking out. Not that it’s worth 200K but still, these condos are pretty awesome.

    • austindc

      I used to be close enough to throw a rock at Room and Board. But one day I had to be certain. Then they came outside and literally beat me with a board. But I still like them.

  • I looked at some of these a few years ago. The warehouse places are really three-story townhouses, so they aren’t comparable to a typical condo. As I recall, most of the remaining units were priced by PN Hoffman in the $700s, which was way too high, given that some of them had alley views and not much light. I think most people who bought units in Union Row are under water since they no doubt paid top dollar at the height of the housing bubble. $599K isn’t totally unreasonable, given the location and parking, but I wouldn’t buy it.

    • As a Union Row homeowner and avid watcher of home prices, your assumption is a bit off. There was a slight dip in prices back in 2009, but current selling prices are above the PNH original prices. Since most original owners have been on the property 3-4 years, that is a significant paydown in principal. Sure there may be some under water due to personal finance issues, but to say owners are under water due to the market is wrong.

  • deal! First three rules of real estate “location, location, location” and this place more than delivers on that. Plus you have exposed brick, beautiful floors and an open but large kitchen.

  • Nope, just someone bored at work who had to the time to go through the pictures.

  • I used to get my car serviced at the garage that formerly occupied this spot. I’m not sure I’d want to live in a brownfield and when I looked at the units (for laughs) the complex seemed pretty soulless, not to mention the walk-in closet sized 2nd bedroom, which seems very common in newer DC buildings.

    • I like this complex overall, except the Warehouses part reminds me of a concentration camp, (the appearance of) barbed wire and all.

  • It’s the going price. The price is right… I’m not sure what people are talking about. It’s about 1100 sqft @ $500/sqft. It’s got a garage spot worth $40-$50K. That’s $600K…. What are you guys comparing it to? It’ll be gone by next week.

    • Oh and also, it’s the only active listing in all of Union Row. Flats & Warehouses. They’re obviously in high demand.

  • If Trader Joes does open up two blocks away, I bet this will become the “cool” part of 14th very quickly.

  • Seems way overpriced. There is one just up the street that is almost the same sq ft, that has lower condo fees and is $100,000 less ( Doesn’t have parking, but does parking cost $100,000??

  • Anyone know current residents? I’m curious about the noise factor – are walls decently constructed between units – or can you hear your neighbor(s)’s TV/Skype conversations/dinner parties/cat snoring? Obviously, if someone is blasting music, walls won’t do much – but I’ve been increasingly irritated by routine noise leakage in a lot of the newer-construction places I’ve visited.

  • I wouldn’t call this is a great deal, but buying this unit for $600k makes more sense than renting a comparable unit in the U street corridor. Class A two bedrooms are renting between $3,500-$4,200 in that neighborhood.

    Not sure if anyone else has been house hunting recently but I’ve found that inventory is definitely low, and rents are rising faster then condo values.

    • There are no bargains to be had – either for renters or homebuyers – in the 14th corridor running between Columbia Heights and U Street. The NYT just published an article outlining all of the new buildings under construction along that route. All of them are either condos or “luxury” rentals. You need to either suck it up and shell out top dollar if that’s where you want to be, or move on to the next up and coming hood, which right now is the area around the next stop on the Green/Yellow line – Georgia Ave/Petworth.

      • I’m not sure that I think Georgia Avenue/Petworth is the next “It” neighborhood. (No, this is not meant in anyway to downplay the virtues or wonders of the neighborhood at all.) I think development is going to go in a different direction, different area, though.

      • Classic_six, which neighborhood do you think will be the next up-and-coming one?

        I think it’s hard to tell if the area near the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro will take off to quite the degree that the U Street area or Columbia Heights have — or as rapidly — but even if things are coming along a little more slowly, the recent openings of Chez Billy and D.C. Reynolds are promising, and there are market-rate apartment buildings under construction.

        • I hope you won’t mind if I don’t say – publicly – even though these boards are supposed to be somewhat anonymous. I am part of a spontaneous and silly sealed bet.

          What I will say is that I am not saying the Petworth neighborhood will not ever come into its stride, I do think it will – and hope it does. As you say, the building of market-rate condos and the opening of DC Reynolds and Chez Billy is promising and definitely headed in the right direction.

          • I don’t know how quickly it will happen, but I’m confident there will be a big influx of development in the Ga Ave/Petworth metro area sooner rather than later. There are new and newly rehabbed market rate rentals coming on line; there’s Yes! Organic; there’s the Safeway redevelopment, which will be accompanied by residential units; and a continuing transformation of empty storefronts into new businesses. Rehabbed rowhomes are selling quickly and at or above the asking price. And you can’t create that kind of metro access – the intersection of the Green Line, Yellow Line, and 4 different bus routes. I don’t see it becoming the “entertainment” district that Columbia Heights or U Street is, but I do see it as developing a vibrant mix of restaurants, bars, and retail.

          • I thought I should add or clarify my thinking in that there is some distance between something being the “It” neighborhood and something being an up-and-coming neighborhood. I did specify “It” neighborhood when I replied to textdoc’s question to me. When I read MA’s (too lazy to spell out your full moniker) response, it made me realize that perhaps I didn’t note that distinction. There are neighborhoods where development and good things come but they don’t take off in quite the same way as so-called “It” neighborhoods or entertainment centers, if you will. I’m not sure that Petworth residents would want to become an “It” neighborhood because sometimes I think part of the appeal is that it tends towards a residential neighborhood, which doesn’t mean that it won’t develop with market-rate condos and great establishments.

  • I have a feeling that you will be able to hear the neighbors while inside this unit. New construction is just too iffy…

    • ever been in a 100 year old rowhouse while the neighbor is walking up or down the stairs?

      • Maybe this varies by rowhouse. I’m in one that’s 99 years old, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard my neighbors going up or down the stairs.

      • Yes I have and no I have not heard neighbors walking up or down the stairs. However, that being said, noise or sound has a funny way of traveling and which sounds actually do the traveling as well. As to the point of rowhouses being noise carriers or not, not all rowhouses are the same, of the same quality. A lot has to do with the construction of the house, you may discern noise transmission on upper levels but not lower levels because the number of bricks deep (in layers) could vary on each floor. Insulation will have something to do with noise transmission, etc.

      • Totally off topic but you can have your stairs fixed so they won’t be so noisey. I recently had mine done. In newer homes, you can just pull off the bullnose and shim the steps. In 100 year old homes, you have to open up the stairs from underneath (taking off the plaster and lathe), and shim the steps that way, while also caulking with silicone to prevent movement. For onerous steps, you may need to screw them down from up top. If you’re DIY, plan to do this in a weekend, not including the mudding and painting of the new drywall under the stairs.

        • Not off-topic and interesting to note. I wasn’t sure that the noise, though, from walking on the stairs was necessarily from creaking stair but instead from someone walking in heels, which can be loud and transmit easily, especially on floors without carpeting. Not sure how much your stair-fix would solve that problem. I would be/am surprised if you could hear creaking stairs from a neighboring row house but heels on uncarpeted stairs, well – not so much.

        • Interesting. My own stairs are definitely creaky, but I wasn’t sure what could be done about it.

        • To Petworth Res,

          Don’t ask me why but I thought about shifting foundations. If one were to have the stairs fixed, as you suggest, wouldn’t this really only be a short-term fix because houses, especially older ones, tend to shift. Wouldn’t that then effect the stairs, too? I’m not positive but I was thinking about that and wondered if you knew.

  • Nice location but the size of those bedrooms is just way too much of a compromise if I’m shelling out that amount of money. I know the DC real estate market well and I know there are always compromises involved, but that’s not one most people I know would be willing to make at that price.

  • Seems like it’s priced to sell. good luck finding a better deal in this location for a high end condo. I’d bet this is worth 650 in a year once the jbg project at 14 and u delivers and the YMCA building is up. Huge plus on the mike isabella restaurants opening up next door.

  • This is a great deal. A lot of people want this kind of condo and there is high demand. There are small 2br in converted townhouses going for more than this along the U Street corridor.

    Its not my taste, but I know something that will sell when I see it.

  • We were looking for a new place and tried to see this one on Saturday (5/5). “Tried” is the operative word because the selling agent never left a key box so buyers and their agents could come see the property. Front desk of the main building said we were the fifth group to come to try and get in that day alone. Calls to the seller’s agent resulted in instructions to just go to the open house the next day. At the point we were there it was at least 5 days after the property was listed, so that agent’s laziness meant it was probably almost a week without anyone able to see it to know if they wanted to make an offer.

    That being said, I was not especially sad to not see it. We put in an offer the next day on a townhouse in SW that was twice the size for the price. Of course, that neighborhood is half as exciting, so it evens out. But it would have been nice to have it as an option and to see what they were like for future reference!

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