Good Deal or Not? “Most affordable housing in NW DC!” edition

1457 Park Road Northwest

This unit is located at 1457 Park Road, Northwest:


The listing says:

“One of five units available, prices ranging from $99,000 – $325,000. Most affordable housing in NW DC! Ideally located one block from the Columbia Heights Metro and all of the shops and restaurants in Columbia Heights. Ask agent about financing options, high investor ratio. Owner occupants ONLY! OPEN HOUSE 1/19 2-4PM”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This efficiency is going for $99,000 ($143 monthly fee.)

60 Comment

  • The catch is the “kitchen”. Still, a wonderful deal for someone who doesn’t cook much.

    • Also, does anyone know where you can get one of those teeny sink/stove units? That would be nice for the bachelor efficiency I’m creating in my basement.

    • People have made snarky comments about the compact kitchen. I actually think that we need smaller options in this country. Europe and Latin America (I was just in Ecuador, don’t insist that all kitchen appliances be large.

      For a small apartment, you don’t have to have huge appliances to cook a good meal. America seems to have this “bigger is better” complex, rather that going for appropriate-size, quality homes.

      • I agree to a point, I have a 2/3 size fridge and stove and my counter is 18 inches x 18 inches, and I cook and entertain all of the time without problem. But here you have a kitchen with no place to even store a cup or plate, or to put table so you have a surface for a cutting board (well, OK, maybe one that lays across the sink). There’s not even a place to put a microwave!! And that is a teeny fridge that likely has no freezer (or no freezer you can keep more than 6 ice cubes in).

      • I agree. I do a ton of cooking and baking so I appreciate my normal-sized (by DC standards) kitchen. But I could certainly get by with less. It’s pretty unusual for me to have all four burners going at once, and most prep work can be done on a table or small area of counter. People think they need lots of counter space for their appliances, but unless it’s a big/heavy appliance or one that gets used everyday it can be stored elsewhere.

      • Those people must eat most of their food out of cans, because a big kitchen most certainly makes it easier to cook anything elaborate.

        • I cooked professionally – and pretty elaborately – on charter yachts in a galley kitchen maybe 4×8 feet. It takes some planning, but really is not that hard.

  • Whatever you save on housing you’ll spend eating out. That is the saddest “kitchen” I’ve ever seen.

  • #crockpot

  • The kitchen can be improved. For $99k, that seems worth it.

    • +1. I’m wondering what the dimensions of the kitchen actually are; it looks like it might fit a smallish fridge, a regular or maybe narrower-than-regular stove, and a smallish sink.
      I also wonder if there’s a 240V supply nearby. If there is, that would make putting in a proper stove feasible; if it’s not, that might explain why the owner has one of those compact units that requires only a regular 120V supply.

    • Take a close look – the “kitchen” seems to also be the only closet in the unit.

  • For the enterprising philanderer who wants all of the comforts of a hotel room, but not the credit card paper trail.

    • I could never have sex in this place. Your bed is practically next to the front door and EVERYONE will hear your business. There’s simply no privacy in this place – you’re essentially living in the hallway.

      • I wouldn’t have any problem doing it in this place. In case anybody was wondering.

        And that big wire dangling down in the kitchen can’t possibly be to code.

  • This is perfect for a commuter. Someone who lives elsewhere but works 2 days a week in DC, like a senior professor. I know a couple people who have this kind of place in New York, and even make a buck via Air B&B on weekends. Good deal (provided the building isn’t a rat infested hellhole with flickering lights and a methlab next door).

    • This would be a great buy for a Mount Pleasant family who wants to have a nearby full time foreign nanny, but doesn’t have the space for her to live in the house. I’m sure the nanny would also appreciate the privacy.

    • Says owner occupant only. I wonder if that’s in the condo regs.

    • I agree, this would work for someone who is in town only Monday-Thursday and just needs a place to sleep, keep a toothbrush, hang some shirts, and maybe make some coffee in the morning.

    • This would be perfectly normal in most of the world. Even in wealthy developed countries it’s common to live in a tiny studio with a tiny kitchen and no closets. Maybe this unit will appeal to a European expat.

  • “Housing” or jail cell? Even by studio standards, that’s extremely small (278 sq feet). $358/foot.

  • I saw that an almost went in and then was decided I didnt want to deal with whatever the bullshit ended up being.

  • What’s the condo fee on this? I’ve noticed a lot of listings lately that don’t show the fee…

  • Is there really no closet, or did I miss something?

  • What do people think of the 1 and 2 bdrms also listed? GDoN?

    • The 1BR seems to be the best deal – really nice layout and open floor plan – for $190K.
      Though the ads have this caveat: “HIGH investor ratio, OWNER occupants only, FHA and Cash Welcome.”
      It seems that you won’t be able to rent the place out, if you need to move from the area. Buyer beware.

  • halfsmoke

    I used to have an apartment like this. My father saw it and commented, “hey, you can shit, fry eggs and answer the door at the same time!”

  • I looked at renting in this building a couple years ago… the elevator and hallways were pretty scary… dark, dirty, etc… and the unit (I think it was this same floorplan but renovated with almost a full kitchen) was very nicely done but tiny tiny tiny… and I would have never lived there with the way the rest of it looked. Hopefully they’ve fixed it up. I remember thinking it was so funny seeing the door, brand new, bright white with new numbers, next to all the other doors about to fall off their hinges.

  • I think we’re forgetting the fact that you have to live on the 1400 block of Park Road. I’d be more worried about idling car exhaust fumes choking that little place up.

  • What a joke. Who in their right mind would pay a hundred grand to live in a closet? Just another example of over-inflated housing prices in this town. What does it take to get you to realize that the DC real estate market isn’t a healthy and sustainable way to attract long-term residents who actually want to invest in a community, not just their own wallets.

    • People that can’t afford or don’t want to pay more than a hundred grand to have something slightly bigger than a closet? I wish DC had more small cheap units on the market. There are plenty of cities in the world where tiny studios are the norm, so why not here?

    • Get rid of the government distortions – guarantees on mortgage-backed securities, QE, and the mortgage interest deduction – and you’d see more realistic home prices that are actually in line with what people can afford.
      People are buying homes with ever escalating amounts of borrowed government money. It’s a completely distorted market that has no basis in rational supply/demand.

    • Eh mortgage tax and condo fees work out to $600 a month. Assuming they have decent credit ( a big if) this is actually within reach for a low income person/young couple.

  • I don’t know that this is a great deal all by itself, but it’s a pretty awesome deal for whoever lives in 303, 307, 205 or 405 who wants to expand. Buy this little guy, bust out a wall (or build a staircase up or down), and either combine it with a neighboring studio to make a real apartment or combine with a neighboring larger apartment to make a bigger apartment.

    • +1
      I spend a lot of time thinking about what my apartment will look like when I add the one below it!! I live in a rental-only building and I wouldn’t be able to afford even one unit if it went condo so it will never happen, sadly.

  • janie4

    OK, did anyone else see a bathroom sink in that bathroom? Based on the photos, I couldn’t see one. If there’s one, it’s not bad for a single person with a minimalist lifestyle – get a nice murphy bed, and it should be ok. However, the location is awful.

  • This is insane. This is a studio that would be perfect for a fresh out of college guy who has no interest in cooking, and is going to wind up going to the bar all the time anyways. This is a condo where he can build a bit of equity, and save some money well having a place to call his own. This is nicer than the dorms we all managed to live in for a year or more, so I don’t see the issue.

    I think it is a TREMENDOUS deal, and if there were not rental restrictions, I would buy it tomorrow.

    You would have a line out the door of people willing to pay $1000-1200/month to rent this place.

  • This place is ok, but check out #507 at the same address. It’s only $125k, has 100 more sq ft than this one and actually has a galley kitchen and a normal bathroom with another sink. Looks like it has a decent storage/closet area too. Wish I could jump all over this one.

  • All that glitters is not gold.

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