Good Deal or Not? “amazing light throughout” edition (reader request)

1839 1ST St NW

This condo is located at 1839 1st Street, NW:


The listing says:

“Plant yourself in the heart of Bloomingdale! Sparkling top floor condo home with amazing light throughout. Open living area with gas fireplace, hardwood floors and exposed kitchen with skylight and stainless appls. Huge corner master with west-facing bay windows and en suite bath. Bonus nook in 2nd BR, plus full bath. Private balcony. Low fee. 6 blocks to Shaw Metro.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 2 bed/2 bath is going for $424,555 ($257 monthly fee.)

34 Comment

  • justinbc

    I have no idea what Bloomingdale condo prices are like, but it looks nice at least.

    • This seems to be solidly priced vis-a-vis recent comps in the area (actually a bit less per sqft). I don’t know how much being above a restaurant would detract from the price, however.

  • It’s so oddly small. The master bedroom is huge and the remodel is beautiful but the living space is tiny. You couldn’t have anyone over for dinner or even a small party. You could get a house for that with better space.

    • Heather, you would be extremely hard-pressed to find a house in a desirable neighborhood in similar condition for that much. Far out in the burbs? Sure. But not in close-in DC.

      • I guess it depends what you’d count as “close-in D.C.,” but you could probably get a small house in Park View or Pleasant Plains for around $500K, no?
        For $425K, I’d imagine you could easily get a house in Woodridge (though that’s not exactly close in). Would anything be available at that price in Brookland?

        • Anon,

          You’re not going to get a house without serious issues at 500K in either of those neighborhoods. A 1000 square foot shell sells for 400K in either Park View or Pleasant Plains.

    • I think I would rip out the walls that make the 2nd bedroom. That would open up the living space and leave the “nook” as a nice little office corner.

    • You can get a full house on the Trinidad side of H street for under 500k. While it may not be the right neighborhood for all, if you’re considering Bloomingdale you probably would be willing to go slightly grittier for more space.

      • hahahaha @ “slightly grittier”. Few differences here: quality of housing stock, crack heads per square mile, access to metro, access to social amenities, access to a grocery store, access to self-righteous hipsters, etc…

  • I think I would hate living above a bar/restaurant, especially with an outdoor patio. It seems like anytime you open your windows, you’re going to hear the people on the patio below you. That said, I like that it’s priced at that level because I have a 3 BR three blocks away that I paid $300k for four years ago.

      • justinbc

        Hadn’t thought of that, excellent point!

        • Ok Goldilocks – you complain when something is a whole 3-4 blocks away, and now you are literally on top of the action and that is too close. So tell us where is Baby Bear’s just right crib? Half a block away? A block? Three doors down?

          At some point, whether still does I don’t know, the tavern had a no smoking policy for the patio, btw.

          • I don’t see the OP complaining about anything being 3-4 blocks away.

          • Justin in previous posts on Bloomingdale real estate said a house up 1st was too far away from the action. That’s why the reply is under his post and not the original post.

          • I’m guessing that Justin is able to see pros in addition to the cons, but is only letting his cantankerous side out on the internet.
            With that said, constant cigarette smoke outside one’s window is more than a valid concern. You’re being dense Anon 2.07.

          • In general, the cigarette smoke is a valid concern and the only thing I said with respect to it was that I at some point in time this patio particularly had a no smoking policy. I am not being dense. I am being tangential.

          • Sorry Justin – didn’t mean to imply that the above post was at all cantankerous. That was from previous impressions.

          • justinbc

            No offense taken. I have no idea who all these anonymous voices are, so I never take any of their personal remarks seriously.
            But, in answer to the snide remark, both that house and this one have flaws in my mind, and I would not have purchased them. I did say that it looks like a nicely done property, but I personally never considered condos in my home search so I’m not as familiar with their values.
            If a dumpster were placed at the epicenter of Bloomingdale and put up for rent would you expect people to value it more than one 3 streets away? Such is the same for me when factoring in smoking, as I completely detest the habit. If there were in fact a no-smoking sign that would change things, although it probably wouldn’t keep the actual employees from going out back to have one.

        • Stop taking yourself so seriously and laugh at how absurdly you thread the needle between 3 blocks being too far, and on top of being too close (which I completely agree with). That’s all.

    • OK, in an attempt to find some middle ground among the flurry of responses this comment provoked…I think I see both points about not wanting to be too far from the “action,” but at the same time not literally right on top of it. Personally, I wouldn’t mind being on the same block or just around the corner from a bar/restaurant (assuming the noise/crowd level was reasonable and not too out of control). However, I would have trepidation about living in the same structure, on an upper level where a bar/restaurant was on the ground floor. The noise level would be greater, and I would think having a food establishment at the ground level increases the potential for bugs and vermin in the building. A commenter further down also mentioned fires, which I know can also happen in a residential-only setting, but it seems like a bit of a higher risk when you’re talking about a commercial kitchen. (Or maybe my perception is just skewed because I used to live near a high-rise apartment building that was partially destroyed by a fire in its ground-floor restaurant’s kitchen.)

  • living above a restaurant would make me paranoid about mice/rats/etc. otherwise, decent deal.

  • Might be good for an investor at that price. Maybe you don’t want to live there yourself, but you could probably break-even on the mortage to rent ratio right away. Or even maybe a little money each month, and the rents are only going up in that ‘hood.

  • I agree with Heather. The condo seems laid out backwards. I would have put the living area in the front and the kitchen in the middle area a larger bedroom in back. It looks like a nice place but could have been laid out better.

  • Attention Suzanne Des Marais for the “Was it a GDON?” thread:
    If this sells, I am very curious as to what the financing situation is. My understanding was that it was very difficult to get a loan for a condo in a mixed-use building where the commercial portion exceeds 25% — if this has changed, I’d love to know.

  • Agree with other comments that this is a strange layout, that is, it doesn’t utilize the available space well. Why use that spot for the laundry? Tuck it into one of the bathrooms, and don’t bother to give the second bedroom an entrance to the bathroom. I’d much rather have a larger living/dining space than bedroom.

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