Thurs. Afternoon Rental Option – 16th Street Heights (reader request)


This rental is located at 5200 13th Street, NW:


The listing says:

“This 750sqft basement is located in a beautiful arts & craft style house – owner occupied (we bought it three months ago). We are first time home owners and we have personally done all the renovations ourselves. We see this renovation as a way to increase the value of our home and so have spent the time and money to make sure the renovation is done well and with care. We are in the final stages of renovating – will be ready by mid-October. New hardwood flooring in kitchen and entrance. Brand new cast iron sink and counter top. Stainless steel appliances. Separate entrance. New carpet in living room, bedroom and stairway. Fresh and contemporary paint throughout. Just renovated bathroom (it\’s the nicest in the house). Separate utility room with a large utility sink, and modern, large, front loading washer and dryer. Plenty of ceiling height throughout. Very well lit (including dimmer in living room) with good natural light as well. Flat fee of $100/mo for major utilities (water, electric, gas). We will add you to our cable plan so would be approximately $15-30 a month depending on what kind of cable box you want (standard, HD, HDDVR, etc). I will have a dedicated WiFi connection for tenants at no additional cost. There is a park directly across the street and there is always plenty of parking – I have never had to even parallel park in front of our house – literally. Great neighborhood with tons of shops and restaurants within a 5-10 min walk. Minutes away from downtown Petworth and just a 5 minute drive to Cleveland Park and Columbia Heights. 10 minutes to Dupont, Adams Morgan and U St. Two bike shares within 3 blocks. Always lots of Car2Go in the area as well. Pets are welcome on a case by case basis with no additional deposit or fee required.”

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $1,499/Mo.

34 Comment

  • This place has been up for rent for some time now ( i want to say 3 moths or so)
    im sure that is with reason

    my biggest riff with it was the stairs connecting(what appears to be) the upper levels to your own space
    also its a little further north than preffered

    • I actually visited this place a month or so ago after seeing it on craigslist – owners were still doing work down there so I think that’s the reason it has been up for a while – these pictures are different that what I remember seeing. I needed to move sooner than they thought it would be ready for move in so moved in somewhere else, but place was quite nice. There is a separate entry way up those stairs to the outside. The top door, I was told, would always be locked so, in my view, a non-issue. Nice young couple too.

  • It’s over $1600 a month with utilities. I lived in a non-basement place (similar size) a block from the Petworth metro and paid over $200/month less than that. When I moved out (earlier this year) it was re-rented for less than $1600. Point being, you can find better deals.

  • Yeah, not a good deal. Way overpriced for the area.

  • Don’t really know the rent price, so will defer to others, but the utilities do seem too much. Sure, it’s a good deal on wifi / cable, but for two people in a full rowhouse, my gas is ~30, electric ~40, and water ~40. That’s $110 / month for conditioning more space. Why not just include the utilities in the price if it’s not separately metered? Or, at that price (and for a seemingly very nicely done unit), spring for the separate utility hookup?

    • your electric and gas in a rowhouse is $70? really? in the winter? Ours is more like $300.

      • Seriously. Is your row house 800 sqft? Either that or you have a really really tight seal on your windows and doors and also keep your house freezing in the winter and hot in the summer.
        Over the summer my electric bill was $200 at the peak for a 2500 sqft house and over the winter I think my gas bill was about that too at the peak.

        • In our newly remodeled row house 2500+sq ft the winter gas bill is about $50 a month, electric about $50 and my summer electric bill at peak summer is about $220.

          • Our group house in Petworth (Hamilton St) is apprx. 1800 sq ft. There are 4 of us. Our electric bill has never been over $60, our gas never over $50. I would freak out on people if either of those broke $100….

      • My rowhouse is 1400 sqft. Middle of the row. I have done a good job replacing windows and sealing, but far from perfect. We got one of the free energy audits, and I’ve got a ways to go. We cool to 78-80 and heat to 63-65, sometimes a little higher.

        The skepticism made me look up the exact numbers. In 2012 our average gas bill was $35, electrical $55, and water is $38. We put in a new CAC last fall (replacing the 30 year old one), and despite going to more expensive Clean Currents as our generator, our electric bill is $43 / month through October. So the total is $124 / month on average. I was a little off going from memory, but not ridiculously so. Even based on the last full year, it’s $133 — for a full rowhouse.

        Re: Where do we live and who’s the generator … DC. We got a fixed two year 100% wind contract with clean currents (still have to pay a bunch to pepco), and when with variable priced gas from WGES. The latter saves good money in the current market. We also are in the the pepco energywise program, which saves us $45 / year. Even better in MD.

        Interesting to see what other people’s experiences are with utilities. Some others think this is high, some low. The thread does make me feel better about my bills. 🙂

        Of course, DC Water has a nice increase coming our way, and Pepco has requested a whopper too.

        • Yup, setting the heat to 63 is certainly one way to keep your gas bill down. I’d probably have to wear a coat indoors if I did that.

          • My wife too!

            More seriously, we’re not doctrinaire about it. If we’re cold, we turn it up. Sometimes as high as 70. 😉 We just try to keep it low. The cast iron radiators help. In our old house, we always felt colder with the forced air blowing on us, even if the thermostat was set higher.

          • andy

            Can you all talk to my wife? She will not let the heat get below 72, 70 if I get sneaky about it.

      • I live in a house (end of the row) that’s gas heated. Three floors are heated, covering about 3000 square feet. I keep it about 68 degrees, sometimes up to 70. My gas bills maxed out at about $65 last winter. Electric (running window units) is more expensive, about $115/month in July. My utilities are probably a max of $200/month, for a place 4 times the square footage. $100/month for the utilities is a lot of that space.

        Seems like a high price for a not very convenient (for me) location.

    • Yeh, where do you live bc I want those utility companies. Ours is generally $200-$300 depending on the time of year. Also, looking on google streetview, if I have the right place, this isn’t a row house. It’s a fairly large stand alone house which I’m guessing is less conducive to holding heat in than a row house. I agree with other comments that they probably should have just included utilities in the price, but I think $100/mo is very fair for a 750sqft place.

    • I live in apartment the size of this one being advertised, and my electric bills are $20 max in the winter and about $40 in the summer when I’m running the ac (I don’t run the window units when I’m not home). We don’t pay for gas, but in my previous apartments it would not have been anywhere close to $60 per month. So asking a tenant in this apartment to pay $100 per month seems high. But whatever you charge, just roll it into the rent, advertise “all utilities included” and the tenants will think they’re getting a better deal.

  • Too much. I live right around the corner and love the area, but this should really be priced closer to $1,250+. It’s a great space, but metro access is still such a huge factor in pricing rentals. That said, bus service is excellent around there.

    • I’ll 2nd that. Bus service is phenomenal bc of how Georgia Ave/ 13th ST/14th St/16th all bottleneck up near here. IT makes it really convenient to hit any of the major north-south lines and they fan out as they head south.

  • It’s cute and well done, but I wouldn’t pay more than $1200 to live in that area of town. Nowhere’ville and no amenities anywhere near there.

    You can get small 1BRs and decent sized studios in CoHi, U Street, Shaw, etc for $1500.

  • This place looks beautifully done, and if they did this all themselves I’d love to hire them to do some work in my house 😉
    That said, $1600 seems awfully high for a non-metro accessible area. It would also behoove them to just include utilities in rent rather than charging a “flat fee.” It just makes it seem like a better deal since you essentially are including the utilities in the rent anyway. I’m guessing since the owners are new to this they are probably testing the waters to see what they can get and will adjust their pricing accordingly.

  • I don’t think the owners put an ad on popville. It says “reader request” not “owner request.”

  • Is it me or are there no cabinets in that kitchen?

    • There is one next to the sink! But yeah, not a good kitchen for anyone who has more than 2 plates and cups and a small coffeemaker.
      Advice to the owners: take new pictures DURING THE DAY. Taking pictures at night just emphasizes that this is a basement.

    • There’s not a ton, but under that counter there are a couple quite large cabinets – I visited this place approx. 3 weeks ago before deciding to just move in with my boyfriend. Owner told me he was also planning on putting up shelving to the left of the oven, though I don’t see that in the pictures. Maybe just hasn’t updated the pictures. Could have posted a better picture of the under the counter cabinets. Definitely not enough space for a huge assortment of kitchen items, but certainly enough for one or two people. Fridge (storage wise) is huge, btw, but works well in the space because of the door configuration.

  • How is everybody seeing pictures? Pictures do not show up for me on POP listings, no matter the browser.

  • owners sound neurotic and greedy. finish the unit then rent it out. and save up enough money so you don’t have to resort to carpeting. if you’re going to renovate, do it right.

    • What are you talking about? I met the owners when I looked at this place and they were certainly not neurotic. They were quite pleasant. Greedy? Perhaps this place is slightly over-pricing, but I hardly think that makes them greedy. As new young home owners, given DC house prices, they are probably just trying to supplement their mortgage. Also, even though when I saw the place is wasn’t quite done, everything I saw was done with attention to detail and quality. Difference between this place and others I saw was that the work was clearly done by the home owner, not some general contractor trying to cut corners to save on cost. As far as the carpeting, I thought the carpeting and laminate flooring was a nice mix – but that’s just my opinion.

    • I’m with Liam on this one…I visited the place and the attention to detail was great, definitely better than a GC coming in and doing a standard rennovation. I’m not sure how you can make that accusation from a few pictures. Mixing carpeting and hardwood works well, if you do it right. Kitchen space was limited, but with the cabinets under the sink and shelves, it’s workable. We ended up finiding a different spot bc we had to move in immediately…

    • I think they sound like they care about the apartment. They’ve probably sunk everything they have into the mortgage and renovation.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I think this is a beautiful apartment! I don’t know about the price for the area, but I would be willing to pay slightly more for a well renovated place with washer (front loader!) & dryer! And a dishwasher, does it have a dishwasher? I agree with others that the utilities should just be included, even the cable. They should just get a cable box for the unit.
    It really is beautiful, I wish I were in the market for a new place.

  • My thoughts regarding the price are that they probably paid a $100-$200K premium because they’re so incredibly close to Hamilton Park–I know I’d definitely pay a lot more for that kind of access for my kids–and they’re passing that premium along on the basement rental. But a 1-bedroom apartment is unlikely to attract a tenant who will pay for that kind of access (because the park is practically worthless to folks who don’t have a 5+ year old kid).

  • I get wanting to offset your mortgage, and the reno, but it’s too high for the area.

    That said, this space is gorgeous. I went there back in… mmmm… August? It’s lovely, it’s large in the living area and incredibly well renovated. They owners really care and put that care into the redo. The bathroom and living room and kitchen are amazing. My only complaint is that the bedroom is super tiny; all the sq footage is in the main room and the laundry room. Might be hard to fit dressers (the closet wouldn’t hold them AND hangers).

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