Good Deal or Not? “unique residence” edition

This carriage house is located at 3324 18th Street, NW:

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The listing says:

“Own DC’s most unique residence at The beautiful Schafer Mansion- The Carriage House. Offers the utmost in privacy and comfort. Features a lower main level and an upper level with 1bed/1 bath and private yard. View by appointment only.”

You can see more photos here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $459,900 ($285 monthly fee.)

44 Comment

  • This is the reason I loathe DC. Half a million dollar one bedrooms.

  • um that is a stand-alone house in a desirable neighborhood. I will be shocked if this doesn’t sell for more than asking. If you loathe DC nothing is stopping you from moving to Cumberland, MD, where the same size house can be had for $30,000.

    • Ah, the ever-popular false binary!

      Yes, this is a stand-alone house in Mount Pleasant. Nonetheless, it’s only a one-bedroom and thus seems somewhat overpriced to me. Only somewhat, though.

    • Yes and no… It’s very much a 20×20 foot carriage house that’s part of a condo. It’s certainly an interesting little novelty and the interior looks fairly well done, but it’s not obvious to me that this is going to spark a bidding war. Even in MtP $460k + $300 a month is a lot for 1 bedroom.

    • This “condo” has been on the market for quite some time. It was originally listed at $499k and stayed that way for a while until they dropped it to $460k. This was just recently re-listed to make it appear “fresh”.

      I’m willing to be there’s absolutely no bidding war going on unless they drop it further still.

      It does look pretty neat however?

    • It’s been on the market for over 100 days. In this fast selling market propped up by ultra low rates, that’s like a century. And it’s behind other buildings with only an alley exposure.

      This isn’t going over the ask. I bet it ends up settling at $400K.

      I bet this finally sells

    • Define desirable. As a former resident of Mount Pleasant, I was much happier in neighborhoods with more dining, Metro and nightlife options. To each his own I guess.

      • Houses generally sell very quickly here. I think that’s the only way to define “desirable.” Of course, this house is not selling, so maybe it’s not desirable anymore.

  • I think it’s a pretty cool place and well priced for the location.

    It’s definitely a “condo alternative”-style residence. And, given that, I think have your own four walls is better than being attached to your neighbor.

  • I would say it’s a bit overpriced for a one-bedroom as there are 1 bed condos for less. This is more around the price of most 2bed/2bath condos… Of course, this doesn’t have condo fees…and it has a yard. I’d say it’s an OK deal. If you want something that feels more like a house than a condo, then you might really like this and the money is worth it.

  • This is so cool.

  • I think it’s really neat. I would never buy a condo, but if I were in the market for one, this would definitely be a very intriguing option.

  • I believe it does have a condo fee as it’s part of an 11 unit condo conversion. This is the carriage house and stands detached in the alley off of 18th St. This has been on the market for an eternity by DC standards, so buyer activity says it is not a good deal. By contrast, the typical MtP listing lasts only one weekend.

    Although the Schafer mansion was once a beautiful building it fell into disrepair and moldered for several years before its sale to developers in 2011 for $1.4M. The conversion of a capacious house to ten condos has restored the structural integrity of the building and also harmed the property’s character. All the exterior entries and staircases have given it an institutional feel. It’s now more nursing home than grand mansion, in my view. That impression is especially strong around the carriage house because of the modifications to the main house’s porch, the surrounding alley, and the parking spots. These are all trade-offs that buyers evaluate for themselves and the market says even the reduced price is too high even in a hot neighborhood with zero inventory.

    • I have to disagree on this one. This developer did the neighborhood a favor and, as time goes on, the new yard and fresh paint will again look like a more weathered house. Also, the neighborhood needs more density to support more commercial options. I think these are great projects.

  • saf

    On the carriage house – I don’t like it at all, but a friend REALLY wants it. Different strokes and all that.


    Thank you.

    • <3 to you for reminding folks about "unique". It's on my list of peeves, too. It's maybe not the most worst, but…

    • most people know what’s meant. because language is about intent of communication not mathematical precision.

      • In this case, it’s easy to figure out the intended meaning… but sometimes people’s use of language is so poor that they convey a message different the one they intended.

        For what it’s worth, I consider “most unique” pretty harmless. It doesn’t seem anywhere near as bad as people saying or writing “tenants” when they mean “tenets,” “ascribe” when they mean “subscribe,” etc.

      • saf

        Sloppiness of language is a symptom of sloppiness of thought.

        • A pedantic criticism and also a wrong one. Homes can be unique across hundreds of attributes and so while many houses have unique characteristics, some houses obviously have more unique characteristics than others. My MtP rowhouse is unique in a number of ways, but it’s also very similar to the rest of my block which was built at the same time with the same color bricks, the same architect etc. An intelligent person can easily grasp that this modified carriage house is indeed “more unique” than mine.

  • Price aside, this would have been a good space if it had a legitimate bedroom — no noisy loft style — and without the skylight in the bedroom. Don’t know how someone would sleep in that bedroom if someone was awake and watching TV downstairs. Poor design.

    • Totally agree! As someone who could see myself buying a condo (someday when I have some stability and money) I really like the idea of a detached carriage house. But for me, the bedroom would be a HUGE deal-breaker. It needs to be private, period. Also, the downstairs looks like it could accommodate a proper dining room table instead of just a sad bar with three stool if it were better designed. So for me, good idea, nice remodels, very very poor layout.

    • And it appears there is a single bathroom, in the bedroom. So if you have guests over, they have to go up to your bedroom to use the bathroom. Not ideal.

  • There are other similar cariage houses in Mount Pleasant. I find them all charming but when this came on the market, I suddenly realized how exposed it is to the alley and all that can go on there at night. It raises security concerns, for all its other charms. You are kind stuck out there in an alley!

  • Half a mill (and $300 a month) for a one bedroom carriage house in Mount Pleasant? Bwhahahahahahahahahahahhahah

  • austindc

    I don’t know if it’s a good deal or not, but I think it’s adorable.

  • There is next to no counter space and drawer space in that kitchen. There doesn’t even look like there’s a drawer large enough for a silverware tray.

  • kind of adorable… i wonder what the monthly fee is all about

  • I checked that place out, and two others in the Schafer… not worth it. It’s a very tiny space and you look straight down into your neighbor’s patio. Then their upstairs neighbor looks straight into your windows. They put about 3 too many units in that complex.

  • Why is that kitchen smaller than the one in my studio?

  • I love the little house, but wouldn’t go over $385k for it, since it has that $300 a month condo fee attached that will only go up over time and will never end even after the house is paid off.

    • ShawGuy, when you want to move up to a good neighborhood and pay real prices for housing, then you can talk. MtP and Shaw are not in the same league.

  • no way, totally overpriced and not very well renovated. i went to see these condos when there was an open house. almost all the units were overpriced and had awkward layouts. most of them sold immediately in spite of that, so it is telling that the carriage house is still on the market. i don’t know why they didn’t at least try to open up more windows, or use the door – possibly because of restrictions on a historic structure?

  • They’ve got to be joking with that price.

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