Good Deal or Not? “light-filled oversized windows” edition

1302 R Street Northwest

This condo is located at 1302 R Street, NW:

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The listing says:

“Bright corner one bedroom with light-filled oversized windows. Special and quiet environment w/ lux top-of-the-line kitchen & bath, beautiful hardwood floors & crafted built-ins and mouldings, exceptional storage, W/D and a decorative FP w/ period mantle (can be made functional). There is a front garden shared with only one other unit pets ok.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $479,000 ($166 monthly fee.)

32 Comment

  • alphatango

    Never been a real big fan of black appliances, but otherwise really well done. I love the overhead storage.

  • That’s a lot of $$$ per sqft, but it’s swank as hell.

  • Nice low condo fee but nearly a half million for 600 sq ft? Jeesh, I’ve been out of it for a while. One thing to be aware of is that flats tend not to have the best sound insulation. I’d ask about that before getting too excited.

  • Love the unit, but jeepers — less than 700 sq. ft. for almost $500K?!?!

  • when will people realize that the condo fee is set by the residents and is 100% driven by amenities and maintenance?

    especially on a building like this, condo fees are what you and your housemates agree it is. But whatever you agree it is won’t change the cost of replacing your roof.

    • Actually the condo fee is generally established by the developer based on a replacement cost analysis prepared by the architect as part of the condominium docs, which addresses replacement cost of limited common elements like roofing, flashing, etc.

      The owners have the right to alter the fee once they’ve taken over the building, but most do not.

      • Right, but the point is that the money is paid into a fund that covers the costs of operating the building. And, a fee that’s too low to cover costs means you will eventually pay a special assessment.

        People who are new to this often seem to assume that condo fees are somehow imposed on residents, and the variability in them is coming from some greedy developer or other third party who is sucking the money out of the condo. When, in fact, just like all property owners, the residents need to pay to operate and maintain their building.

        In other words, people may feel $500 a month is an expensive condo fee, but those people have probably never experienced the joy of cutting a $12,000 check for a roofing job or replacing an air conditioning compressor.

  • $800/ft? Pass. Bad deal, even if it is nice to look at. The place is very cramped, not much space to even walk around the furniture. And the outdoor “garden” just looks sad.

  • Fransi

    the location is totally worth it

  • I think it’s too bad such a gorgeous house was turned into condos. That said, I’m glad they kept at least a few of the original details. The price is probably about right.

  • Nice house, great location, they should have kept it as a single family home though, I’d much rather spend around $1mil+ for that whole place than $479k on condo fees on a single unit!

    • The upper unit alone recently sold for 1.2M. That building renovated to the level of the current units would probably be in the 3M range.

    • Ah, I see someone has already weighed in to complain about condo fees just as I outlined above.

      If you owned this entire home w/o a condo structure, your maintenance costs would be well north of $10,000 a year.

      • Really? Well north of 10k/year? I’m not being snarky, genuinely interested. I always figured DC’s old houses would have a lot of repair work needed, but 15k every year … forever? Do you think that is relatively accurate or just your knee jerk reaction to people’s condo fee complaints?

        • Where else do you think the condo fees are going? I’m being serious.

          If you don’t do any work yourself, owning an old rowhouse is super expensive.

          • That is exactly where I think condo fees are going, I was merely asking if 15k every year was accurate given your indignation. I have friends with old houses in other cities and they don’t spend 15k every single year on home repairs. One year it’s 8k for the windows. Maybe some appliances break the next year so maybe that’s 3k. And there’s a few hundred here and there throughout the year. But the roof shouldn’t need to be repaired every single year.

          • Sorry L, I get you. A bit of a pet peeve of mine is people constantly complaining about high or low condo fees as though owning outright wouldn’t incur the same expenses. Google “where do condo fees go” for more information.

          • My personal take on people’s response to condo fees is that they should be and are cheaper to be in a converted house vs. a large condo building bc in the building, you are paying for the front desk, the fancy hallway lighting, the cleaning of the common areas, the rooftop furniture, etc. So, if I see a small building like this, at least I know my condo fees are going towards upkeep of the house, not the hallway carpet on a floor I never go to or some other amenity I never use.

          • I live in a townhouse built around the 1930s, not the oldest in DC but no spring chicken either, and the maintenance is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like $10,000 every single year. If you’re spending that much money every single year you are really, really doing something wrong. If you wait until your ceiling collapses you can face bills like that, sure, but even then I can’t fathom how you’d do it every single year.

        • The condo fee also often covers water, sewer, trash removal (any bdlg w more than 2 units does not get city service), bldg insurance, yard maintenance and prob even common area elec and housekeeping. Our 5 unit bldg has over $10k in general maintenance costs each year, and we try to build up a small reserve.

          All things you’d pay for individually if you lived in single family house.

  • Another interesting note about this property.

    “There is a front garden shared with only one other unit”

    The 13th Street side facade of this building sits on the property line; the yard space between the facade and the sidewalk is actually public space NOT part of the property, so the garden is not a legally owned amenity.

    • Right but normal row house dwellers often tend the gardens in front of their homes despite the technicality of ownership. The ad doesn’t say the garden is owned by the property, just that it is shared with one other unit.

  • A “luxurious bathroom” would have a bathtub.

    And where does one eat in this place? No table in the living room and that little ledge in the kitchen isn’t even big enough my bowl of cereal in the morning.

  • Call me crazy but why would anyone want to buy 1 floor of a house? I can understand living in a condominium/apartment building but c’mon the 1st floor of a house? that’s kinda lame.

    • Because of location, Crazy.

    • How is this any different from buying a condo that happens to be at street level?

    • This is a condo. It just happens to be part of a 2-unit condo created from a single-family house, as opposed to a condo building that used to be an apartment building or a condo building that was built to be condos.

      • If you look on the slide show one of the captions says “four unit (owner occupied) condo”. If this was 1/2 the place, the whole house would have to be only 1200 sq. ft.

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