Good Deal or Not? “sun splashed 1 br” edition

This coop is located at 1875 Mintwood Place, NW:

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The listing says:

“Renovated, sun splashed 1 br in best location! LOWEST MONTHLY FEE, $316, INCLUDES TAXES !!!!! … you won’t find anything lower. Open layout, extra storage, pets welcome, bike room. Well-run boutique building. So convenient to Metro, parks, restaurants, markets. ‘Sanctuary in the city'”

You can see more photos here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $279,000 ($316 monthly coop fee.)

17 Comment

  • Looks like a great deal to me! I’d probably take down the divider wall between the kitchen and living room and put in a narrow island/table. I think I’d want central A/C too if I were to buy

  • It has been my experience that coops in that area are super restrictive. In other words, if you’re of a certain class of people, you will almost certainly be denied the ability to buy into one of those buildings, no matter how much money you have.

    • I rented in this building for a little over two years and…

      Was relocating from NYC. Took a weekend to come down and look at apartments. Viewed the unit, filled out an application with the landlord, was approved by the landlord, signed a lease, mailed checks, and AFTER all of this took place, was told by the landlord (well, actually, the landlord’s son) “oh, by the way, the co-op board will need to meet with you before you move in.” Repeatedly asked the landlord if a meeting had been scheduled, begged them to schedule it during a time when I was going to be in DC, asked them if the meeting could possibly take place after I’ve relocated, all to no avail. Finally, the landlord announced to me on a few days’ notice that a meeting had been scheduled unilaterally by the co-op board for Monday evening at 7 pm (I was scheduled to move in the following Saturday). So…five days before a 300-mile move, I had the pleasure of leaving work at 2 pm, hopping on a train to DC, attending a 15-minute meeting where I was invited to “tell the co-op board a little about myself” (at the conclusion of said meeting, they still could not tell me whether I’d been approved to move in, AS A RENTER), and hopping on the last train back to NYC. Approval to move in finally came that night. Oh, and at said meeting, I learned that I’d only be allowed to rent there for a year, after asking the landlord point blank if I’d be able to stay beyond a year and being told “yes” (thought I later found out that was a rule that didn’t appear to be enforced with any sort of uniformity, as I was able to stay on for a second and third year).

      If those are the experiences of a renter, I can only imagine what it’s like to deal with the co-op board as an owner.

      • In my experience, co-op board meetings are standing, regularly-scheduled affairs, and it seems reasonable as a matter of good board governance that they would need to discuss your move-in after meeting you and without you being present, rather than deciding on the spot (and indeed, you mention the approval came in later that night). It stinks the hassle you had to go through, but could the issue have been that the landlord didn’t fully understand and communicate to you the board approval expectations at the beginning of your whole rental process? Of course, I don’t know the whole story, but it sounds as though this was mishandled more on the landlord’s end than the board’s.

        • Yes, the vast majority was the landlord’s fault – and the lack of communication and general lackadaisical approach was indicative of many things to come. However…

          a) It was clearly an ad hoc meeting and not a regular board meeting (and again, yes, chances are my landlord and his son never bothered to communicate to the Board that I needed to travel several hundred miles for this meeting and this meeting alone)

          b) It was just really unclear what the purpose of the meeting was. They didn’t request copies of pay stubs or credit reports or any documents having to do with approving me as a tenant. I’ve rented several non-owner-occupied condos in the city over the years and have never had to go in front of the board to seek approval to move in – it’s been solely my landlord’s discretion on whether I qualify to move in.

          • I think that’s a condo/coop difference (tenants having to go before the board for approval).

            Agreed with others that it sounds like this was poorly handled on the landlord’s part.

      • This really sounds like it was more of an issue with the property owner (landlord) than it was the Board.

    • Absolute nonsense–I’ve been involved in the governance of 2 coops in that area and family members have been on others. Most coops simply want to meet you as a formality. Sometimes, it’s a subcommittee of the Board. It tends to be a hassle if you’re coming from out of town.

      Lenders are more conservative about coops than condos. i believe 10% down is standard. There was a time a few years back where it was 20% for a short time. Check with a mortgage company that does coops; the realtor and/or the Board president should know. Interest rates tend to be slightly higher for coops than for condos, but asking prices are lower. The coop fee will include maintenance and any underlying mortgage. the fee seems low here and so you’d want to take a look at their reserve study and find out how much they have in reserves. The building was renovated and converted about 20 years ago, so they may have paid off the underlying mortgage (which funds big capital projects in a coop; condos don’t have this, they have things like special assessments instead).

  • Really nice. This is in a Gold Coast neighborhood. Great deal!

    Would be interested to hear what kind of hoops the coop board will require a potential buyer to jump through. Most likely they want some absurd amount of maintenance held in an escrow account.

    • having lived in DC coops and having known people in others, I would doubt it. maybe they do that in NYC.

      • Yes, that is my experience with NYC. But that’s one of the most common hoops coops can try to make potential buyers jump through in order to weed out people.

  • I hate to be cranky, but can’t they take pictures with higher resolution than a thumbnail? My 3-year-old phone takes better pictures than this.

  • Hmmm. My condo fee in the same area (a little more south) is about $200/month. What do they offer in terms of amenities?

    • $200 is an insanely low condo fee in the Dupont area. Most listings start at $300 for a 1BR and quickly work upwards. I’d say you have an extremely good deal, though $319 isn’t bad at all.

  • I live in the building. 1) there were no hoops from Coop Board for us when we bought. 2) the monthly fee of $316 doesn’t include the underlying mortgage payment; should be more like $500.

    • Sorry, correction. The fee is correct! That unit doesn’t have the underlying mortgage (one of only two in the building that paid off their portion at some point in time)… wow, that is a low monthly fee! Not much in the way of amenities, but building insurance, trash, heat, water/sewage, and general maintenance are included.

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