GDoN? “Access to the bedroom is attained by passing through a “secret” bookcase entrance” edition

1731 20th Street Northwest

This unit is located at 1731 20th Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Live in the center of Dupont! A unique and stylish 1 bedroom apartment with hardwood floors, open kitchen, new bath, and built-in bookcases. Access to the bedroom is attained by passing through a “secret” bookcase entrance. Building is well maintainted and does not have an underlying mortgage.”

You can see more photos here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $279,900 ($366 monthly fee.)

36 Comment

  • justinbc

    All wood everywhere. And that’s not the center of Dupont.

  • This is -awesome-. The price seems too good to be true, although it’s clearly for a somewhat specific type of buyer.

    • Custom built-ins galore! You should check this place out to get some good ideas for your house, Shawess 😀
      Though, let’s be real – this is a studio with a fake wall thrown up in the middle. Still, a very creative use of space. They turned a lemon into lemonade. My only concern seems to be the lack of natural light; perfect for the minimalist vampire.

  • That’s an amazing deal, but it’s a Co(munist)operative.

  • The light over the bed looks like a surveillance camera! Also, I wonder how ventilated the bedroom is–can the window units reach in there?

  • Saddest part about this apartment is that it will sell at that price (if not higher).

  • Is that a twin bed?! It certainly looks much smaller than a queen. I can’t imagine two people being happy sharing that one bedroom. And the kitchen is tiny and ugly. This is a decent bachelor pad for a 20-something, but not many 20-somethings, even in DC, can afford to buy their own home.

  • Pro: Across the street from Filter Coffeshop.

    Con: So ugly I would probably spend all my time at Filter to escape all that wood.

    • You know you can make changes to an apartment you own, right? If the cost of the upgrades you want to make + the price of the apartment itself are lower than the cost of a prettier apartment than this is a good deal.

  • That’s pretty affordable for Dupont Circle. A little small, but really thoughtfully laid out. I’d want to see what the monthly fee includes, but overall it seems like a good deal.

  • Classic example of people not doing the math. This is crazy cheap for Dupont. Most people signing new leases in Dupont are paying over $2000 for a 1-bedroom. This is less than two blocks from the Red Line. Yes, it’s quirky but it’s crazy cheap for the ‘hood. It will get snapped up fast because someone will do the math and say “wait, I can buy this with $10,000 down and it’s $500 a month cheaper than renting a comparable place in this neighborhood?” The wood is a bit quirky but: Deal.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’d paint that wood so fast, and then be a very happy camper.

    • All of the complaints were extremely fixable. Don’t like the wood? Paint it or install something you like better. Think the bed platform’s too small? Expand it or rip it out. The kitchen could be rearranged or expanded as the owner saw fit. Yes, it’s small, but welcome to Dupont. Unless you are willing to spend a lot more than $279, 000, the apartments here are not huge. At the end of the day, it is an extremely affordable option in a great neighborhood.

    • The problem is it’s a stock cooperative, which are very hard to get a loan for, and do not appreciate in value due to the nature of a coop. Plus it looks like a sauna, and is about the same size.

      • Is a stock co-op different than a regular co-op, and if so, how?

        • I don’t think there is a difference. Given the sales in my “stock coop” getting financing isn’t an issue as long as the buyer uses mortgage brokers with pre-approved agreements (and that’s just paperwork). Plenty of savvy brokers know how to do this.

  • Are there two microwaves?

  • laduvet

    i don’t see a window in the bedroom?

    • Seems there is either a window behind the camera or they’ve got some fancy lights set up to give it the appearance of natural light.

  • $280K for a one-bedroom in Dupont seemed like a really good deal, and $366/month seemed like a surprisingly low fee for a co-op. So I was wondering what the catch was.
    Then I looked at the photos and saw that there don’t appear to be any windows in the bedroom, which means that this was probably originally a studio and currently would count as a “junior one-bedroom.”
    This appears to be the English basement unit in the row house. (The first-floor windows have bars too, but they’re taller.) The “open kitchen” means there’s not much cabinet space. The built-in platform for the bed in the “bedroom” means that the buyer has no flexibility as to where to put his/her bed, and not much flexibility on its size.
    Also, I think they meant “obtained,” not “attained” (although now I’m starting to second-guess myself).

  • Like living on a boat. No thanks.

    • Or at summer camp with the weird loft/shelf bed- hopefully the previous owners didn’t carve their crush’s name into the bed. But, the mortgage/fees would be cheaper than any one bedroom in the area and I bet I’d be easy to renovate enough to make it very livable.

  • That bedroom would be a lovely cabin on a 60ft sailing yacht with average finishes. As an actual bedroom? Yikes.

  • Maybe I’m being overly paranoid, but I wouldn’t want to be sleeping in a room behind a secret entrance in the event of a fire or other emergency.

  • Really, no-one’s inner 4 year old likes the secret bedroom. I mean it has to get some “cool” points? Right?

  • This is really NOT awesome. It might be awesome as a rental, if you are willing to live in a basement with the pipes at the ceiling, with a bedroom that apparently doesn’t have a window (if it does, then it is a stupid real estate agent not to clearly show a photo of it, so assume it has none.) Because you can move out of a rental when you tire of it.

    When you purchase, be it coop or condo, you have considerable expenses at closing – both at buying and selling. If you have a condo you can easily rent out when you move, and you are willing to be a landlord in DC, then you have a good investment. If you have a coop, which usually are restrictive on rentals, or even a condo in a small building, which should be restrictive on rentals, because when a small building has rentals, it is difficult for anyone to get a mortgage to buy a unit in the building if the %age of rentals goes beyond what lenders are willing to lend against, then you have an asset you can’t easily sell when you move. There are lenders who will lend to coop share owners (the most common form of coop ownership) even in small buildings, but small buildings (coop or condo) have to watch their percentage of rented units, or all lending for purchases ceases.

    Even if you were willing to rip out that bookcase (or move it) and stupid bed (as I would, if I lived there) so as to have a studio with windows (though many first-time buyers don’t think of altering a place, as they haven’t the cash to pay for alternations), and even if you were willing to live with that kitchen and bathroom (as many people are), I wonder how this is even a legal unit under DC laws about egress, etc. It certainly doesn’t seem like it would be safe in a fire, even if legal. Is there a door from that bedroom to the outside? There isn’t one pictured. Posting a floor plan with an ad, or enough photos to answer questions about windows and doors, makes a lot of sense, especially with such a odd unit.

    Great location, but I think you are better renting until you can buy something you can sell or rent out easily, that will appeal to a lot of people.

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