Good Deal or Not? “lovely abode” edition

312 N Street Southwest

This coop is located at 312 N Street, Southwest:


The listing says:

“312 N ST SW – Two bedroom/1.5 baths coop townhouse in SW Waterfront. This lovely abode offers an updated kitchen, open and separate dining and living spaces, renovated full bath, lots of basement storage, large back patio, and more. Pets allowed. River Park coop offers 24-hr front desk, fitness room, outdoor pool and grilling, rental parking, and more.”

You can see more photos here.

This 2 bed/1.5 bath is going for $399,000 ($757 monthly fee.)

26 Comment

  • Those are coops? I always though they were projects. Or maybe just across the street from the projects (??) farther down 4th St…

    • The development is called River Park – I did a google search for: sw dc river park history, and there’s a bunch of info (good and bad) about these houses/coops.

    • These definitely aren’t public housing, and I’m not aware of any public housing projects on 4th st in SW.

      And back on topic, this seems like a really great deal, considering the amount of space and location. As others have noted, the fees in the SW generally look high at first glance on most condos/co-ops but once you start digging deeper and see what they cover (utilities, maintenance, parking, taxes, etc.) they start to look a whole lot more reasonable.

    • There are public housing developments nearby, a few blocks east on P Street (Syphax Gardens and the southern end of James Creek), and on both sides of M around 3rd (Greenleaf Gardens to the north and Greenleaf Extension and Senior to the south). There are none on 4th Street though.

      • The nearby projects are the primary reason I’ve often considered, but decided against, living in this neighborhood. Unlike most of the other commenters here, I really like the style of these places, especially the exteriors. I guess I’m somewhat unique in this regard, but the entirety of the SW neighborhood around Arena Stage really appeals to my sense of aesthetics!

        • I don’t get the project comments here. There are projects throughout east of the park dc – so you’d really have to exclude a lot of territory with that criteria. The projects close to River Park are just as close to the ball park and all the new Navy Yard stuff.

        • if you let the fact that their is public housing nearby keep you away from SW, you’re really missing out. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, but it’s a relatively low-key and safe neighborhood as far as DC goes.

    • justinbc

      I believe these were actually some of the first coops in DC. I looked at a rental here when I first moved to DC 5-6 years ago and it was a total dump. The area has improved a lot, but it doesn’t show any signs that these buildings have.

  • So, what’s included in that $757? When we were looking, we kept going back to SW but just couldn’t stomach the fees — those fees will never go away and they could even go up.

    • Taxes, utilities, and all maintenance of both shared spaces and YOUR HOME. From what I’ve heard, the fees are actually a pretty good deal considering that they cover things like plumbing, roofs, and other general repairs to your unit.
      A resident chimed in on another PoP’ville thread about these places. They really thought the fees were worth it.
      Considering that this place has already been renovated and updated, I’d say this is a pretty good deal for the amount of square footage and private outdoor space.

      • justinbc

        No offense, but you sound like the listing agent.

        • Nope. Just trying to pass along info that I heard, which I freely admit might not be 100% correct. People should look into it themselves and read the fine print.
          I actually rarely think any of the deals listed by PoP are “good” and thought this one is pretty decent. Consider that a townhouse in Capitol Hill of similar size probably has on average $4K/year in maintenance costs (over the life of your 30 year mortgage – I’m smoothing big expenses, like a new roof, over the long term), maybe $150/month for utilities, in addition to your taxes. $757 looks to be par for the course.

  • Probably the reason the price is relatively low for a 2br and the fees so high is part of the underlying mortgage for the building is included in the fees, as happens with a COOP often.

    • $757 isn’t really a high co-op fee. I would assume that River Park doesn’t have an underlying mortgage anymore.

      If you want to see outrageous monthly fees for places that do still have a mortgage, check out some of the places in Van Ness and Cathedral Heights. For the same size place, a 2 bedroom, you’d be looking at $1200/month or more.

      I live in a co-op and I love it (and my fees are not that high).

      • Or the multitude of buildings in Foggy Bottom. The Watergate is especially notorious and the residents can’t get their units sold. I wouldn’t be surprised is a developer buys out everyone in the Watergate over the next 10 years and levels the entire structure for a new development.

    • I live in River Park now. I have never had any trouble anywhere in the neighborhood, and I’ve been all over it doing the census last year. The fees at River Park cover: all untilities but phone and internet, property taxes, any maintenance that is not your personal property, i.e. roof, plumbing, walls, electricity. And they cover the pool, the playground and picnic area, the wood working room with all its tools, the fitness room which is large with glass walls and lots of equipment. Oh, and landscaping. We do some gardening, too, but in case we don’t it still gets done. Not everyone likes the Modernist style but it suits me.

  • The architecture of SW has always been a bit of sticking point for me – I just don’t like it. Having said that, the location is pretty sweet in some ways, and given the future development of the waterfront it’s only going to get better. Overall, I’d consider this a not-bad deal.

  • I had a friend who lived in this complex, and she loved it. The monthly fee did cover a lot, and the neighborhood is really quiet south of M St. Lots of trees, lots of kids playing around, and not as scetch as some might lead you to believe. This is a good deal, considering the location and size.

  • I love the barrel roof houses. The shorter, flat-top roofs not so much. You lose 1-2 bedrooms and a lot of the charm, IMHO. The fees are reasonable considering the taxes & utilities are included. We looked at several units during our house hunt, but it felt like that development needs some major updating. The exterior facade isn’t looking so hot nowadays.

    Also, spend some money on a good photographer. Good pictures are so important nowadays since anyone can view MLS listings online. This place is probably plenty nice, but the pictures are really off-putting.

  • Looks like a public library from the early 60’s

  • Regarding the architecture, some love it, some don’t. I love it and live in one of the townhouses. The fees are reasonable considering they include most utilities, taxes, and general maintenance with decent amenities. These were designed by a fairly famous architect – Charles Goodman. Very Mad Men-ish. 1.5 blocks to a new safeway and the green line metro. Very easy access to NOVA, the mall, the green line stuff, the ball park, navy yard, eastern market… and very close to the soon to be redeveloped wharf and hopefully a soccer stadium.

    • I also love the architecture too (and no, I don’t live here – I wish I had enough of a down payment to buy one of the townhouses). This area – and in particular townhouses in this ‘hood – are going to blow up huge in the next 5 years as more amenities get built. Yes, the public housing will continue to exist, but I think this area will be more like Columbia Heights (in terms of demographics, crime, amenities, etc.) as development continues. The transportation infrastructure is already there. It’s especially good if you have a car and want quick access to the highways.

      • SW is actually really safe, much moreso than Columbia Heights. Look at the crime statistics map available from MPD, and the difference is striking. Plug in the address of this property and see for yourself.

        I used to live in SW and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, property prices were out of my budget when I was looking to buy. Lived across form public housing for 5 years and the worst that ever happened was snowballs from over-confident 10 year olds.

        • I’m too lazy to do that, but I’m sure you’re right! SW is less dense than CoHi, so there’s probably fewer crimes overall.

        • I never felt totally safe living in SW. We’d hear gunshots pretty frequently, and always had scary-looking guys loitering on our stoop, and someone broke into our house by bending the window bars.

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