Good Deal or Not? “Enjoy the Roof Top Pool” edition

This condo is located at 1239 Vermont Avenue, NW:

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The listing says:

“SPACIOUS CONDO in Crescent Tower**2 Bedrooms & 2 Baths w/GARAGE PARKING!! Tile Foyer & Hardwood Flooring in Living Area**Large Master Bedroom w/Separate Bath and Walk-In Closet**French Door leads to 2nd BR/Den**Newer Windows & Sliding Glass Door**Lots of Closet Space**Condo Fee Incl: ALL UTILITIES–Enjoy the Roof Top Pool & Patio**Walk to Metro, Whole Foods, Logan Circle–FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY!”

You can see more photos here.

This 2 bed/2 bath is going for $384,900 ($797 monthly condo fee.)

23 Comment

  • What’s wrong with this and not being told? This seems cheap for the amenities, etc, included. I know, high monthly fees but the price for the condo for 2b/2b is not in keeping with prices, especially this area. Anyone know what gives?

    • You answered your own question, it’s largely the high monthly fee that you can never pay off, and will only keep going up in an older building. It’s also small for a 2br/2ba (766 sq. ft.) and has common laundry.

  • this is a good deal for what is likely a really crappy unit, except for that outrageous condo fee. for a condo fee like that I want to live in a luxurious building.

    • Not all condo fees are created equal. Just because the place isn’t luxurious doesn’t mean that the condo fee should be inherently lower. This fee covers normal communal maintenance + a new pool + all unit utilities. Still, $797 is steep each month – I’d do a ton of research into the building, its board, neighbors, upkeep, etc before deciding on a place like this. Location + parking pretty amazing for less than $400k.

    • This is also the “booby” parking space: there is some building mechanical system requiring access (see the little door) enclosed by that metal box which is so big it would keep you from being able to store your bike in your space along with your car.

  • I’m guessing that one of the reasons that fee is so high is the “new pool!” It does include utilities, but it’s still too high given how dated/shabby the common spaces in the building look. Perhaps there is maintenance/renovation scheduled and they jacked up the fees….

  • Seems like a good deal. Rooftop pool is why the condo fee is high but worth it if you like that addition. My guess is this will go for higher.

  • No washer and dryer either? That is a huge nix on buying a place. I can manager renting and having to use the basement facilities, but if I own, I want a washer and dryer.

    Fantastic location though. I bet the sellers will get at least this much.

    • I don’t think that’s a dealbreaker unless there’s no place to install it.

    • When condo shopping I saw a lot of buildings that didn’t have in-unit w/d and the buildings didn’t have the plumbing to allow installation. Was very frustrating. I feel the same way about owning and having a w/d.

      • Yep – electric can be a problem for retrofitting a W/D as well. Building might not be wired to handle the extra voltage.

        • Good guess on the electrical capacity. I’ve been hired by apt. complex owners to do feasibility calculations for installation of w/d. It’s the amperage, not voltage, that is calculated and the buildings often lack the capacity.

  • i LOVE the mirrored wall lobby…

  • Do the math for the mortgage on this place if you can afford to buy. $1400 a month plus the condo fee equals $2200 for a 1 br/den or 2 br (can’t really tell from photos but suspect the former) in Logan with utilities included and a pretty sweet rooftop pool. People would drink lava lamps to rent at prices like that.

    • A 797 dollar condo fee in an older and dumpy building is not a good sign. Tells me they have a problem managing their money. Besides, at that amount you can finance another $165k to $170k in a mortgage at today’s interest rates, putting you into a much nicer place selling for the mid $500s. I’m skeptical that this is a good deal.

    • $1400/mo for a $389,000 property? How much are you putting down? 30%.?

  • We were interested in a unit in this building several years ago (maybe 06-07), and it was around the same price then. Several people from the neighborhood, including one who used to live in the building, warned us to stay away. Said the building was old and in disrepair, reserves were nothing, and there were constant problems with the pool. Don’t know if that was accurate of if things have changed, but it was enough to keep us away.

  • No way in hell. The place has nice bones and good amenities (despite the workout equipment from the 1980s) but I can already see about $30-50,000 of renovations I’d want to do. Of course, if you would be happy to move in to this unit as is then the price is what is expected for the area and the condo fee, though very high, evens out.

  • I actually rented here for a few years – had a great deal. The management company is average, the “gym” is a joke, the washer/dryers are in the basement, and the pool is small. It was nice enough for a rental – the location is awesome – but definitely not worth the condo fees. Also, I had horrible problems with roaches the last 7 months I lived there even though I got sprayed three times and cleaned constantly. Buillding is not kept up very well – I’d look elsewhere.

  • With a condo fee like that, it’s possible it’s a co-op. Those are insanely hard to get a mortgage for – much harder to appraise, much riskier investment, etc.

  • I live in 1239 Vermont, Crescent Tower, I’m a real estate agent, and I have my condo on the market (not this one but another)—-not because I want to leave, but because it makes sense for me personally and financially to sell. But I love this building, and many who live here love it, too. Yes, many of the commenters have highlighted some areas where we could improve. And with the time, effort, and dedication of the owners I believe there is greatness in this property yet to materialize. The structure was built by Howard University and stands on the exact plot where the founder of Arlington National Cemetery once had a mansion. Those who own here are now recognizing their duty to restore the building to glory, to let it become the elegant, inclusive, and community oriented residence it is meant to be; there is a sense of history here, and the quirkiness and character of age. It is not sterile like new construction (no offense) — but solid, towering, and at times grumpy, like a curmudgeonly grandfather. And on it’s roof is a newly redone deck and pool, the beginning of the restoration, from which you can see the National Cathedral, and Luther Place Church, and look out on the Capitol City, and the see the fireworks on Independence Day. Is it a good deal? Crescent Tower is a good deal for the buyer with imagination and the will to bring this building to greatness. Check out some nice photos of the building at

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