Good Deal or Not? “NY Style” edition

1669 Columbia Road Northwest

This coop is located at 1669 Columbia Road, Northwest:

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 9.41.38 AM

The listing says:

“NY Style 2BD 2BA apt (1100 SF) w/PARKING! Open living/dining rm w/hardwood floors. Newly renovated Bathrooms. Recently updated kitchen (granite counters, floors, & sink). Hi Ceilings, Crown Molding. South/East & North Exposure. Move In Ready! Bike Storage. Cats welcome! Walkable, Bikeable, & Transit friendly. Where Adams Morgan, Mt Pleasant & Col Hts meet!”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 2 bed/2 bath is going for $375,000 ($638 monthly fee.)

22 Comment

  • I’d want to take a look at the building’s finances to see how much time is left on the underlying mortgage for the building. So long as that fee went down within 10 years time, I’d say that this is a pretty good deal at $340/foot.

  • This is a good deal. Close to the action, albeit on a noisy part of Columbia Road, but lots of interesting development on that strip, and convenient to grocery, buses, Columbia Heights metro, Mt. Pleasant, etc…Big space, with parking, though you’ll need to do some updating. I’m not a huge fan of interior, but that price is about right.

  • I just don’t understand the appeal of a condo. You pay a mortgage and rent.

    • But you also have no exterior maintenance responsibilities. That’s a perk for people who want to be able to have a more permanent ownership stake in their housing and also customize their interior space (ie, paint and do similar stuff you can’t necessarily do with a rental), but do NOT want to do things like rake leaves, landscape, shovel snow (yes, hasn’t been an issue the past couple of years, but recall the blizzards of 2010), deal with a leaky roof, replace an aging furnace, etc etc. I know plenty of people like a yard and a “traditional” home, but I also know a bunch of others (especially single women and empty-nesters) who are happy to relinquish some of the hassle that goes with that.

      • Trust me, as a resident of a small condo or co-op you often do have to deal with the headaches of home ownership. *Especially* if the fees are low, which indicates there’s a lack of money for things like leaf raking, roof replacement, etc. The main reason for choosing a condo or co-op in the city is that it’s all that most people can afford in the neighborhood where they live.

  • How can you tell the price is right with a co-op? I never know what’s considered a good deal with these.

  • More like Gangname Style! LOL!

  • @ Anon 1:19: You don’t seem to understand condos then. While this varies building to building, the “rent” you mention pays for general building upkeep and any amenities. When you buy a house, you’re solely responsible for fixing the roof, walls, etc. In a condo, this expense is shared amongst all condo owners.

  • And when is rent ever $300 a bedroom in Adams Morgan?

  • The appeal of a condo is that it’s much less expensive than a house. For most people in DC it’s the only thing they can afford. Since they are sharing a building with other homeowners, they have to share maintenance expenses. That’s why there are condo fees. The condo market wouldn’t be sustainable if everyone were getting ripped off as you imply.

  • The same way you determine the price for a condo. Look at market comps and price accordingly. The market will then finalize the price. Coops generally sell for less than condos due to the fact the many realtors don’t really understand them and sometimes push buyers away from them. Having owned a condo and coop, I can say that your day to day life and experience is exactly the same. Only difference is that the coop required a financial evaluation to ensure buyers could pay their fees (which is a good thing) and there are rental restriction at the coop which I prefer since renter never take care of the building and care as much as owners.

  • Having owned a home in the past, I can tell you that you can easily spend the equivalent of a condo fee on lawncare, fences, etc. not to mention big dollar expenses like drainage remediation or exterior painting that would be subsumed in a condo.

  • @bmoredc 1:38 pm From what I’ve seen, caring for easements and shoveling snow off of sidewalks aren’t exactly high priority items for DC property owners. Or for the city.

  • Usual confusion about coops. The fee, unlike a condo fee, includes property tax. This building used to have insane coop fees because of the underlying mortgage–they probably did major improvements in the not too distant past.

  • try owning and maintaining a single family home and you will see that condo fees are well offset by the cost of maintaining a house.

  • What about the biggest argument for buying a condo – the ability to afford a nicer neighborhood. In a lot of cases, you can get a 2 bedroom condo in a safe, desirable neighborhood, with good schools, close to metro for less than 400k. Even if we could afford a house in H Street, Columbia Heigts, or Shaw, we’d never do it because the crime rate is still high and schools are horrible. So when your options are a) spend $1.5 million on a house, b) send your kids to a school zone where 17% of high school seniors graduate after 4 years, c) pay $25,000 a year for private school, or d) give up your backyard and go with a condo, the choice is obvious.

  • jburka

    I owned a unit in this building and only gave it up when my husband and I decided to buy a place together (we each owned 1BR co-ops at the time). At the time the building was in good shape and had acceptable reserves; frankly, in the intervening 11+ years I would expect that to have improved.. I never had an issue with maintenance, and because the building is old, it’s solidly built and not especially susceptible to noise from other units in the building. Frankly, the only two downsides to living there was the inability to have a dog and the fact that, despite my parking space being about 30 feet from my unit’s front door, I had to walk about 3 blocks around the corner to actually get to it.

  • Funny because my D.C. condo in Adam’s Morgan cost as much as my parents gigantic 6 bedroom house in Texas. Sigh. I could only afford 650 square feet here.

  • That condo fee is backbreaking!

  • That co-op fee is not that high when you consider that it covers a share of the underlying mortgage. And the purchase price most likely includes the portion of the principal owed on the underlying mortgage. That was the case at least when I bought my unit there 13 years ago. (We sold it a few years ago.)

  • Please explain why this is “NY style”…

  • I have been in this building, it is completely dilapidated and smells terrible. Resale process would be difficult.

Comments are closed.