Good Deal or Not? “Outstanding value at affordable prices” edition

This condo is located at 149 W Street, NW:

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The listing says:

“Miller Development is proud to present McGill Row Luxury Condominium Homes. Where exceptional quality throughout is visually evident in these beautifully appointed homes. Outstanding value at affordable prices, all located in Washington’s historic LeDroit Park and Howard University neighborhoods. Spacious 1 Bed 1 Bath, flooded with light! Great storage, spacious kitchen, beautiful hardwood floors.”

You can see more photos here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $309,900 ($243 monthly condo fee.)

37 Comment

  • Finally! Some pics that actually look like the seller/developer care about the perception of the property.

    As for the deal – inconclusive. I’d like to see more pics of the building or a blueprint of the layout. If anything I’d say it’s a little high. I want to know where those bedroom doors go to… a porch or patio maybe? That makes a difference.

  • get real.

  • That’s seems pretty high. I am wondering what the square footage is.

  • The square footage is not huge, but the places are laid out pretty well so they feel larger. These units have been rentals for the past three years though, so the appliances, etc. are not new. Many of the units have juliet balconies, but there are no real decks. These are definitely the most affordable new-ish units in the area, but I don’t know that it makes them a good deal. Plus, parking in that area is a nightmare when Howard is in school.

  • Where’s the value? I lived in a 3/2 row home on Adams and 1st that sold for $350,000 last year. Sure, it’s older, but you could renovate the entire house up and down and still have a better value than a 1/1 condo for $310,000

  • For a 1br 1ba condo, in that part of town, that price is PURE INSANITY.

    • It might be a little high, but I don’t think it’s “pure insanity.” Several units have recently sold or are under contract at the Gage School/Parker Flats for similar $/sqft. Granted, those units are larger/nicer, but still, Bloomingdale is a very desireable area and there aren’t a lot of condo options.

  • mediocre to good deal i think. nice finishes, reasonable ppsf for the area – $450.

  • Would you pay $1800-1900 to rent a 1bd apt? Will you be in the area for a couple years? Then yes, go for it. This way your monthly payment is stable and you have a nice unit. Also, you may receive some appreciation depending how long you stay. Note: this is including the condo fee and 5-10% down.

  • I guess this means my 1 BR 1 BA in Kalorama/Ad Mo is worth more than I thought…

    • Not necessarily. Folks who buy in Bloomingdale aren’t looking for the AdMo experience. In fact, I moved to Bloomingdale from AdMo cause I couldn’t take the lack of parking, college party feel and screaming drunk people shouting at 3:00 am every Friday and Saturday nights outside my window. As the city continues to gentrify, I’m guessing places that offer some quiet but near the action will command a premium price.

      • People in Kalorama also aren’t looking for the “AdMo experience”

        • Although the “real” Kalorama is different from AdMo, the number of for sales in the AdMo neighborhood (as defined by the boundaries) that identify the neighborhood as either Dupont or Kalorama is ridiculously high. People are trying to “cash” in on the cache of the surrounding neighborhoods when in actuality they are just apartments or homes in AdMo.

      • And people in Adams Morgan probably aren’t looking for the Bloomingdale experience.

  • I don’t think the price listed is pure insanity. It might be a little higher than I would have expected and I imagine some of the pricing is optimistic with a forward-looking optimistic view of what the area will become. The photo tour makes the place look well-layed out, feeling spacious because of the layout and nice finishes. I have seen 1 b/1 b in the Adams Morgan area in the price range of 280 (need to be gutted) to 350, maybe 360, and the places actually weren’t as nice looking as this one. Your standard reno before going on the market with home depot lighting, granite counters, ss appliances. Not bad but nothing special. This place at 149 W looks nicer and more interesting than many of the 1 b/1 b that I’ve seen in the Adams Morgan area. The drawback to the 149 W would be if you don’t like airy, clean, modern spaces.

  • Its insane what nice townhouses are going for in this area. 600-800k without blinking these days.

    1br condos though, seem a bit soft. Though, the Mint at 4th and RI Ave NE are going quickly.

    If this is overpriced, its not by more than 10-15k.

  • These prices are out of control! I smell a DC bubble getting ready to burst.

    • What you’re smelling is a return to city living, and it’s happening all across the country. Even inner-city Cleveland is coming back to life. The prices are increasing because demand is high and inventory will always be limited because you can only build so many new condos and you can’t increase the size of land in downtown — as opposed to endless sprawl in the burbs. If you think these prices are high, wait till you see where they are 10 years from now.

      • but for the life of me, i cant understand why people would start paying connecticut ave prices to live in bloomingdale. i did the gentrification thing, but if i have the cash to pay close to $500/sq ft i’m leaving those headaches at home and buying in an established neighborhood.

        • i prefer bloomingdale to connecticut avenue. we all have different tastes and desires. just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it’s not real.

    • Just because prices rise rapidly doesnt make it a bubble.

      Since you have to have extremely good credit or a lot of cash on hand (or a combination) to buy a house, and you’ve needed that for the past 3 years, all of these sales have been to people who can make the payments. Additionally, the DC area has pretty good job security.

      The housing “bubble” wasnt driven by unsustainable prices. In fact, arguably, there was no “bubble” in the prices. There was a bubble in credit. If securely employed people continue to buy on loan terms that are stable over the long term, there is absolutely no reason to think prices will crash. Perhaps we reach a point where prices dont outpace inflation any longer, or maybe even lose value a bit, but a crash is a bit outlandish – given the environment this run up in prices occurred.

      • It is theory, but in about 5 years when these couples who came here for “city living” have to put their kids in schools, they are gonna run like hell to Fairfax and Alexandria make a profit of 400 grand on their 700 sq ft rowhome and leave permanent residents with high properyt taxes. I guess you could call it a quality of living bubble I am referring too.

        • Do you think the population of 20-30 somethings is declining in this area? Everything I’ve seen is that its getting higher and they have more of a desire to live in an urban setting than previous years.

          Densification hasnt reached its peak. The move from cities to suburbs ebbs and flows, but with a population that is increasing, gas prices increasing, and urban renewal being promoted by city governments – I think we’ve got a few decades until everyone flees to the suburbs again.

          • i don’t think it will happen again in america. our cities are becoming more like cities in the rest of the world. our suburbs are getting more and more urban. sprawl is frowned upon in all smart jurisdictions. environmentalism will become more and more important. younger people, millennials, etc, have less and less interest in cars and possessions than previous generations. white and middle class flight was an aberration, not part of a cycle. when not looking at the momentary aberration the percentage of people living in cities has always increased.

          • The number of 20-30-year olds might continue to grow, but that’s not where the real estate-buying power resides. If a 30 year-old decides to buy in a transitional neighborhood but doesn’t have the money for private schools, what will happen when kids enter the picture? Will he subject his kids to DC schools (one of the worst school systems in the U.S.), or will he think of his kids’ future and look to Fairfax or Montgomery Counties, which are two of the best school systems in he nation? Unfortunately for DC, until the schools improve A LOT from where they’re now, the RE market for middle class families in DC will remain problematic. And remember, unless you renovated your house yourself, the market has to surge past the profit the developer took in order for the buyer to realize a profit as well. A lot of DC homebuyers are going to be disappointed in the long term when the big profits of the bubble years don’t materialize. Home prices in DC will not crash (historically – bad times & crises for the U.S. equal growth & $$$ for DC), but they might not rise like many of the cheerleaders in PoPville predict. Buy a home because you like it and you like the neighborhood and ignore the overly optimistic talk of what will happen in 10 years.

          • The condo at issue herein is a 1 bed/1 bath. The owner(s) would be selling well before school concerns come into the picture simply because family life outgrew the condo.

            As well, more and more people are choosing not to have children at all completely eliminating the school issue all together.

            Though perhaps for DC real estate more broadly considered, schools will not really be a factor in the long term planning with the purchase of this condo.

          • Anonymous, the discussion ranged a bit from the condo above (which is not a particularly good deal). Therefore, I was making a larger point.

          • theheights, no need to be defensive as I wasn’t responding to you solely rather all commentors mentioning schools. Also, things like reverse flight in general would in fact be applicable when thinking long term for this condo specifically.

        • you’re thinking of past trends. this isn’t happening as much anymore.

          • I read a very interesting stat in the Washington Post which said that nearly 50% of DC’s school kids are in charter schools. Therefore, it seems that parents have found a way around the need to flee to Alexandria and Arlington. Also, many of the issues in DC that people were fleeing have themselves moved to the burbs, which is causing a reverse movement by the well-heeled back to cities. This trend isn’t going to stop, because the success of the burbs was based heavily on cheap gas and a desire to spend a lot of time in your car.

          • bloomingdude,
            i agree that it won’t stop, but not on your sense of the suburbs.
            cities in the 1950’s and 60’s were rife with racial conflicts, decaying infrastructure, surging violence, and pollution. people loves the burbs because it was an escape from that.

          • It’s irrelevant what percentage of DC children are in charter schools if those schools aren’t good, which the vast majority of DC schools are not, when comparing DC to Montgomery & Fairfax Counties.

  • Bloomingdale just voted 2nd place for next up and coming neighborhood, by best of DC (Citypaper), also this project has some 1B/1B units for 299 as well as some 2 level and cathedral ceiling units with distant views of downtown monuments, better than average condo units, especially for price.

  • This is the second time these units have been offered. We had a contract on a unit in v1.0. The developers decided that they were not selling enough units, decided to go all rental and cancelled all of the contracts.

    Now, here is v2.0. I think anyone considering looking here needs to be VERY wary of the same debacle repeating itself.

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