Good Deal or Not? “cozy fireplace” edition

2337 17th Street Northwest

This house is located at 2337 17th Street, Northwest:


The listing says:

“OPEN SAT (9/12) & SUN (9/13) 1-4 PM Beautiful 2 bed/1bath row house in heart of Adams Morgan, great condo alternative! Home features hardwood floors on the main level, upper level, & dining area. Featuring a cozy fireplace, an updated kitchen, & spacious master bedroom w/ large closet & secluded fenced-in back patio. Within walking distance to Metro, Adams Morgan shopping, restaurants, & more.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 2 bed/1 bath is going for $585,000.

54 Comment

  • Any chance that’s a gas dryer? If so I would swap the location of the stove and washer/dryer, looks like an awkward kitchen arrangement as is.

  • justinbc

    It’s petite (920 sqft), but still can’t recall the last time I saw a house this cheap in this area. This is probably under contract in days. No condo fees + backyard space!

  • What is that about 500 sq ft?

    • 944 sq feet according to the Redfin listing.
      So it’s $636 per foot. A 2BR condo with the same square footage would probably be priced closer to $575-600/foot in Adams Morgan. The higher price for this reflects 1.) no condo fee and 2.) the premium for a SFH in a dense urban area.
      Not a great deal, but it’s on average with the ‘hood in the current interest rate environment.

      • No condo fee=no experience with homeownership. Easy to spend just as much over the course of a few years.

        Also, it’s not a great block. In the heart of A-M’s one sketchy neighborhood.

  • That’s a cozy fireplace alright… If you light it it’s so close it may burn off your mustache…

  • As teeny as it is, this is exactly the amount of space I’d like in a house. And I can’t believe that a price of more than half a million dollars for it is considered cheap.
    I’m going to be in a relationship with Bernstein Management until I die.

    • 1.) Get married or in a relationship. You’ll be able to afford this with a second income.
      2.) Get an inheritance
      3.) Work overseas for the U.S. government for two years. All your costs will be covered and you’ll easily come back to the U.S. with $50-100K in hard cash in your bank account for a downpayment.
      Pick one.

      • Agreed. Single 20 somethings are not expected to be able to buy houses in nice areas of the city.

        With a second income/GF paying rent, you can afford this though.

        • Hell, even single early 30-somethings who crack 6 figures – like myself – can’t afford it. I’m currently seeing a girl who is in grad school and who is applying for PhDs. She won’t have any money coming in for the next 6 years. I love her, but I don’t want to spend the next 6 years just scraping by due to supporting two individuals on one income and stuck in an ever increasing rental.

        • Yes, but as a single 40-something with a frugal lifestyle and a stable (if not high-paying) job, it makes me sad that owning in a neighborhood (as opposed to a soulless highrise) with less than an hour-long commute is not possible.

          • I don’t know how many are in the pipeline, but I would suggest checking out the mixed-income developments in the district. I really liked the Abe Pollan development near the Minnesota Ave Metro, but I made a few hundred above the median area income and couldn’t qualify. But, other developments have units (condos, townhomes/condo-townhomes) at market rate with no caps. I bought a market rate condo/townhome at Sheridan Station at the Anacostia metro and was happily surprised to find other middle-class professionals purchasing as well. The city and the feds have poured millions into some of these developments (especially at metro stations). So, they have invested in a lot into ensuring their success. You sure get more space for your money than in the more established neighborhoods in DC. I paid a 306k for a 2bd/2ba, 1226sq ft condo with a garage. My upstairs neighbor is a dentist (2100 sq ft, 3ba/2.5ba for 370k). It is also a very diverse development (the owner units, anyway). Just a suggestion.

          • Thanks, anon, that’s a good suggestion. I’ve looked into some affordable housing programs before but either make very slightly more than the allowance or they are programs with no availability, but it’s good to know there are other options. Do you know of any centralized source of info about this kind of development? Or a recommendation for a realtor familiar with them?
            Maybe if PoP sees this he might have a posting soliciting advice for those of us in this situation (near median income DCers) who don’t see conjuring an inheritance or moving overseas as the most realistic solutions to this problem!

          • I’m sorry; I don’t know of a centralized source of info on these mixed-income developments. I just did a lot of internet searches – especially on developments near dc metro stations. I also checked the Redfin website obsessively. I think that the DC government website might be a source as well- the city seems always to be involved in these developments in one way or another. I do know that another housing project in SE DC right near the Anacostia metro station is going to be demolished and replaced with a mixed-income/mixed use development- Barry Farms. But, that will take a couple of years. Don’t let the fact that many of these developments are redevelopments of public housing projects- Capitol Quarters in the Navy Yard neighborhood was just such a development, and it is really nice (EYA was the developer). You may also want to do an internet search on “workforce housing in dc.” Good luck.

      • Not really. I did #2 and #3 (though not for the feds) and still can’t buy. Accumulating a downpayment of 100K is not the barrier to buying in DC. Monthly payment size is the issue. And if you can’t afford a monthly payment larger than your current rent, then you’re not going to be amassing another 100K in this lifetime.

        • That’s why we bought a house that has a separate income unit in the basement. After the rent we collect our mortgage is about $800 a month for a house that was this price. It all really depends on where you want to live. We chose H St and were able to get a very large house compared to what you get for the same price in Adam’s Morgan.

        • You’re doing something wrong (or are unemployed) if you have a downpayment of $50-100K from inheritance + overseas assignment and can’t buy a place. Get a studio or 1BR condo and upgrade in a few years. At least you won’t be pissing money away on rent.

      • i want to work overseas for the us government for 2 years! what are the possible paths for that?

        • justinbc

          State Department is a good place to start.

          • Also, USAID, DoD, or the intelligence services (HS, FBI, CIA, etc). Many of the federal agencies have international divisions that can place you overseas for periods of time. I have friends in Treasury, DoE, and Agriculture who are overseas right now for periods of 1 to 3 years.

          • I should also add that those friends who are overseas are getting their normal salary + overseas hardship pay or COLA (if in an expensive city) added to their paycheck. This is in addition to having their rent and utilities paid by the US government, which are not taxed. Plus per diem rates if they have to travel for their jobs (which they do often). It’s friggin’ ridiculous and you can bank A LOT of money VERY quickly.
            Get out of DC, folks. That’s where the real money is when you’re working directly for government.

          • Getting out of DC also solves the original problem of wanting to buy a house here!!

        • If only it were as easy as some suggest. Alot of contractor jobs overseas are for people with skills like electricians, plumbers, etc. The “dream” jobs of being an an attache for the Treasury Dept. or a diplomat/analyst are few and far between. Breaking into those fields is next to impossible these days, especially with the tight budgets. Unless you have prior experience and a clearance you are SOL.

        • Work for a State Dept or other govt contractor. You’ll capture more of your salary in tax breaks than you will working for the government. Make sure you’re posted in a country that doesn’t have a tax treaty with the US; otherwise you’ll be paying tax on the income. Foreign employment through the govt is less of a windfall than portrayed here.

      • justinbc

        Yeah, it’s amazing what having a partner will do for your home buying possibilities.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I”d like an inheritance, please. Where do I pick it up?

        • Me too! Or I wouldn’t mind a partner/2nd income, but neither seem to be in the cards right now (or at least they haven’t been for the past 15 years of my adult life).

  • I’m sure you could do something with that kitchen space to make the layout flow better. But, overall I love this little house as it’s about the same size as my row house.

  • This is a really crappy low end rehab. The staging is very good. DC is going through a big real estate bubble !

  • All these people who think you can’t buy an affordable house close to the city and metro should really look at Hill East.

    • I agree, but Hill East homes are already nudging the $500K mark, and anything that’s a fixer-upper gets snatched up for cash and flipped for top dollar.

      There’s really no port in the storm west of the river anymore. A few places are still attainable but they aren’t especially desirable or easy to get to.

    • Yes. Or Deanwood, Anacostia, Randle Heights Congress Heights etc.
      You can get a renovated house for less than 250k.

  • In the 1960’s my family lived in one of these row houses. We lived there during the Viet Nam war and the 1968 riots after King’s assassination. I went to Morgan Annex Elementary up the street, which is now a condo. So amazing to see what time and money can do to a house. My father’s cousin owned the house and wanted to sell it to our family but my father didn’t want to buy it. My mother hated the neighborhood anyway so we moved into an apartment on 17th & T. I missed falling asleep by the organ music from the skating ring and how quiet and insular the neighborhood was. They were small for our family then, and even with the renovation it still seems really small. But it’s a great neighborhood and great location.

  • Cute little house and not a bad location. I bought a 2085 sq/ft 5 br 2.5 bath craftsman early in the year in Brookland/Woodridge for $525 and still very happy with that decision. For those who want more bang for the $$ and want to a place in the District, I’d strongly encourage looking in NE. I’m at work in Federal Center in 40 minutes. (I lived in AdMo when I first came to the city and found it quite bad for public transportation). Sure it doesn’t have the same level of activity, but things are moving along and you can get twice the house and a real yard.

  • Nice cozy house, great location incredibly convenient to Harris Teeter and all of Dupont. Staging is wonderful. For full disclosure, we liked their front porch so much that we asked a contractor to model ours on it!
    One of the most interesting features of this row of little houses is the rear parking garage structure. Does anyone know the story? Would like to know more

  • Hey all you people. Here’s a quiz. You can buy a nice 3br renovated place on 3 metro lines for under $400k. Fully renovated. Quiet safe hood. Guess where? And it ain’t SE DC.

  • There are so many first time homebuyer programs out there… I don’t make six figures and was able to purchase my home with $0 down and a reasonable monthly payment. I even have student loan debt! There are so many programs where you only need 3-5% down and Wells Fargo currently has a program going on where they will give you the downpayment on a home up to $400K. If you do your research, there are ways to afford a house. As long as you spend a year or two doing everything to pay down the existing debt that you have, you’d be amazed at the assistance. Also, every mixed use property in the city has a component that must be sold under affordable housing guidelines. In the District, these affordable housing guidelines can range up to $80K in salary.

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