Good Deal or Not? “ONLY $95,000 TO PURCHASE” edition

1444 W Street Northwest

This unit is located at 1444 W Street, NW:

View Larger Map

The listing says:

“Magnificent Home & Location! Rare opportunity to own a 3-Bedroom unit in the U Street NW corridor. Hardwood floors throughout, freshly painted, custom shades, and shows extremely well. Coop fee incls insurance, maintenance, taxes, underlying mortgage, and utilities (except electric). YOU PAY ONLY $95,000 TO PURCHASE. Income restrictions apply. Blocks to Metro, & restaurants.”

You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/1 bath is going for $95,000 ($1,550 monthly fee.)

27 Comment

  • That condo fee is higher than my mortgage for a place two blocks away.

    • jburka

      That’s not a condo fee. That’s a co-op fee, and it includes a payment toward an underlying mortgage — any interest portion of which is tax-deductible as it will be on the purchaser’s mortgage as well.

      • Co-op fees also typically include the unit’s share of the building’s real estate tax. So take that amount off the fee for a comparison to condo fees, as well.

        • Tax deductible mortgage interest means very, very little to someone who needs to have a low income to qualify. More often than not, you’re better off taking the standard deduction.

  • The condo fee will be bigger than the mortgage. ಠ_ಠ

  • Yeah and you have to be low income…

  • that monthly fee hurts my head. how can people make that work?

  • Where do I sign up? (rolls eyes)

  • I’ve always wondered how the resell of these types of units works. Is the unit ever reassessed on some sort of sliding scale? How are improvements assessed? Will the community ever become non-low-income housing?

    • Generally, the income limits expire in D.C. I own a condo with an income limit. Had a 20 year term, with 12 years left. The good part is that it only matters at closing, so you can go and make as much money as you want after you close.

  • These arent public. They were converted to co-op and the association purchased by the tenants with the assistance of DC, so there are income restrictions. It operates like any iother coop, the fee is usually higher than a condo, as you dont actually own the unit, but you own “shares” in the association.

    • The monthly maintenance fees usually are higher in cooperatives because the fee includes all real estate taxes and most utilities (in this case all but electric). They also can be higher if there’s an underlying mortgage on the building as a whole, which also appears to be the case here.

  • folks this is a coop, not a condo. the building has a common mortgage, as an entity which you pay for through your coop fee. The flip of that is that the purchase price is low. This is fairly common in NYC, even on non-subsidized, non income limited buildings. That means you dont have to get as hugely in debt yourself – OTOH the coop board has to qualify that you are reliable, so they don’t get stuck if you fail to pay your monthly fee. Which is a lot bigger risk for them than in a condo. I’m not sure if this unit is income limited, but even if its not (and that coop fee, Id guess not) you cant think of it the same way as a condo.

  • If you can afford a 100k mortgage + $1500 monthly fee, then you can probably do MUCH better than this hole.

  • It’s bad, bad bad bad.

    All of these types of deals are bad. Even if you ARE poor.

    Joker usually pops on here to explain why. 🙂

    But essentially it boils down to there’s no such thing as a free lunch in this world.

    That said I checked this building out four years ago when I was looking and it was nice enough. I would have qualified but it is just a terrible financial decision. And I *have* heard you get some rough neighbors although I don’t know anyone who lives there personally.

    The condo fee is so high because it includes a share of the monthly payment on the loan taken out to renovate the entire building, BTW. It will eventually paid off, in like 20 years and the fee will then go down. That is what I was told. And you can rent but only for either one year or six months.

    • Why is it such a bad deal? Your entire housing payment will be just under $1900/month, which is probably less than it costs to rent a 2bd basement unit in the area.

    • Monthly payment is fine, but not a “great deal.”

      It’s extremely bad from a financial/equity/ROI perspective. Very bad.

      A lot of people on here say they aren’t buying a house to make money… but a lot of people on here literally cheer when their neighborhood appreciates.

      If you are buying a house you need to understand it is the most important and most highly leveraged financial decision 99% of us mere mortals will ever make and treat it as such.

      • and even if you are not buying a house to make a profit, at least you can hopefully recoup a lot of the money you’ve spent on it. unlike rent. or coop fees.

        the small chance of gaining equity makes me wary of this place.

      • Of course it is. It is a hugely important decisions, and one that way too many people make huge mistakes on. You should look at it as a financial investment.

        This unit, with a $1900 monthly payment, is a good investment. Sure, you will see little to no appreciation. With that said, you will be paying $1900/month, to live in a wildly underpriced unit. If it is truly a 3-BR, you are making your profit on a monthly basis, by saving $1000+ a month, at the expense of no opportunity for profit on the back-end. I think it is a smart buy.

        • The underlying mortgage part of the coop fee will go down over time and turn into equity. Coops work for people who expect to live in them for a long time, which makes for stable buildings.

  • Has anyone else noticed that this building often has a car in front that’s either double parked or standing on W St? Almost every time I drive by, I have to pull around one.

    • I’ve observed the same. Usually with somebody leaning in through the passenger window chatting away.

      Apparently it’s too much inconvenience to park and get out of your car to visit a friend who lives here, but not any problem to make driving on W Street a pain for everyone else.

      • DC CapHill

        As a former resident of a neighboring building, I can assure that this neighborhood would be better off if this, and the other two identical coops on that block, did not function as such, and ultimately converted to full on condos, or were demo’d, and rebuilt from the ground up.

        I prayed for the day those buildings and their ilk were gone, until the day I got sick of waiting, and just moved instead. Classic case of hangers-on to a property owner, ruining it for everyone else. The number of juvenile delinquents in those dwellings are high enough to turn most potential buyers away.

  • Why not do the math? The coop fee is $1550 but the mortgage payment would be less than $400 right now. That’s a monthly payment of $1900 for a 3 bedroom apartment. Certainly the arrangement doesn’t make sense for everyone, but can you imagine a family with three or four kids who feel this makes sense for them? Sure, I can imagine that.

    Also, nobody is paying $1900 for a recently purchased 3 bedroom in this neighborhood. It’s not obvious to me that a family of 4, 5, or 6 with a $1900-a-month budget can do “much better than this.”

  • I would want to know what the income restrictions are before I comment on the potential for appreciation. That would certainly cap demand if you could only sell to people who can’t afford to buy…

    That said the monthly payments would be nice for that area.

Comments are closed.