GDoN? “Live in one and rent the other” edition

1429 3rd Street Northwest

This house is located at 1429 3rd Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Stunning city town home has 2 separately metered homes, both totally gutted and all NEW, top of the line cabinets, appliances, fixtures and finishes. Live in one and rent the other for a smart investment or to offset your mortgage payment. Upper Unit 3BR/2.5BA with ebony hardwood floors, deck and fenced yard, Lower unit is 1BR/1BA. Block to Shaw Metro.”

You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/3.5 bath is going for $899,000.

42 Comment

  • It looks beautiful, and I think you could get quite a bit for that nice-looking basement unit, but any way you slice it, saying it is a “block to Shaw metro” is a flat out lie for something on 3rd Street. I think it might be a little high for that specific neighborhood. A little bit west or north, maybe.

    • Sheesh, hasn’t anyone realized that it’s probably just a typo and the agent meant to write “blocks” but missed the s? I mean, I’ve met some doozies when it comes to real estate agents, but they generally can tell how long a block is.

      • We pay realtors a lot of money to get it right. If they can’t write four lines of text without making a glaring error, then they might be in the wrong business. Same goes for listings with crappy photos.

  • Even allowing for Realtor-speak, “block to Shaw Metro” is the most egregious misrepentation of Metro-adjacentness I’ve seen in a while.

    • It’s definitely not “a block”, but a ~10 minute walk to the metro isn’t bad. It’s also right off a number of convenient cross-town bus lines.

  • Hoo boy, as someone who owns a remarkably similar house nearby I definitely hope this sells for what they’re asking. And yeah, “block to Shaw Metro” is just flat out wrong. I have to think that they meant to say “blocks” which is closer to the truth (though still pretty bad).

  • It’s too far from the Metro to get that price.

    • If you believe that, then you don’t know Truxton Circle. The house next door got almost the same price, and I don’t think it has a rental unit.

  • I live not too far from here. Of course, as others have noted, the block to Shaw Metro is flat wrong. I do wonder, though, if Mt. Vernon Square is an even closer metro than Shaw, which makes it even more amusing. I personally would prefer to be west of NJ in that particular stretch. Probably will go for 849 bc of the rental.

    • My Vernon is slightly closer. I’m sure it was supposed to say blocks to metro. We all know Shaw is over there.

  • Though I don’t mind a 0.6 mile long walk to the metro, a mere misrepresentation of facts raises a flag – what else is misrepresented? Having said that I do think the house is priced right.

  • A bit generic perhaps, but good location and I am a big fan of the rentable basement. Think it’ll go for just around this, though the market seems to be slowing in the slightest. Thoughts?

    • It does seem to be slowing slightly, but this seems to be a well-renovated property and is conveniently located to much of Shaw. The new Dunbar HS is absolutely gorgeous, and the city is making headways towards reconnecting O st (which looks really nice already).

    • I agree — it will probably go at nearly this price because the real rentable unit effectively makes it far more affordable. I don’t love all aspects of the reno, but think it’s generally well done and will attract buyers because the space is used very well.

      Re: the slowdown you see may be because it’s fall. I think that’s normal for this time of year and probably not a big indication of a broader trend.

      • Forgot to add that properties like this one — single family home + rental unit — aren’t that common in Shaw. When I was home shopping, we really wanted this arrangement but the only one we found got snapped up less than 24 hours after the place went on the market.

      • The rental unit will indeed make it more attractive. Unfortunately, it’s often harder to get a mortgage for a place with rental unit than a place without.

        • I’ve heard that a couple times, do you know why? I’d think that if you can qualify based on your income (not factoring in the rental income) what difference would it make? Now if you were trying to get the mortgage but needed the rental income to make it work, yeah I can see how a bank might scrutinize that more or haircut the rental income estimate.

          • It’s harder in terms of required down payment. Most lenders will require 25 percent.

          • I just got a mortgage for a 2-unit place in Truxton Circle this year – 20% down payment, excellent credit, first time home-buyer. Basically there were a series of tests for the property that would determine if it were a multifamily or a singlefamily, and mine was multi (separate meters, no connecting stairs between the units). Lenders had different requirements, but I’d say 2/3 said I had to have 25 or even 30% down as it was an investment property, and I also had a limit on how much the first mortgage could be at. So about 4/5 of the mortgage is in a first mortgage with current rates, and the balance is in a second mortgage about 1.25% higher.

      • There is a slowdown afoot: the desirability of included rental space (just like the proliferation of AirBnB’d rooms) proves that people are getting in over their heads. When the limited number of wealthy children of politically connected families hits its ceiling, sensible legal reforms put attorneys out of work, and the global laundering catches a wiff of the slowdown, it’s going to be bad around here.

        • I would argue the opposite. It is a smart way to get the location you want and additional income. Buying a mega mansion solely on your job alone is not smart. Adding rental income to your portfolio that can benefit you well into retirement when your mortgage is gone is financially smart.

        • +1 to Anon3:09. And it’s very hard to get a mortgage these days if you really are in over your head.

  • binpetworth

    What the f*** is going on with the positioning of that stove in the basement unit?

  • The floors look cheap as hell, but with a rental unit in the basement and access to three Metro lines it probably goes for at least list.

  • Ugh. Boring open concept strikes again. What do you even do with the area behind the kitchen? Am I the only one who wants some privacy when I’m making breakfast in the morning and not an all glass front door looking straight through my house?

    And what is up with that basement kitchen? Its like appliances and cabinets were just placed in random spots.

    • That was my first thought. Who wants to look out the front door while they are looking for something to drink in the fridge. I know some don’t have a problem, but this just seems way, way to exposed to me.

  • I love all the windows in this place (especially the arched windows!) but all those glass doors are just tempting robbers to break in. Especially the sliding glass door in the back, WTF?!?
    The first thing I’d do is invest in metal security gates for all the doors. I’m surprised the developer didn’t do that. This stretch of the city of still has plenty of problems with crime.

    • Accountering

      The glass front door I have is super heavy, and the glass is double paned etc. To literally break through it would leave shards everywhere, and a good chance you are heading to the ER. Your point is certainly taken, and it is less safe than a solid steel door, but I definitely think it is still a hard enough target, that anyone hoping to break in is just going to find an unlocked window elsewhere. No clue on the sliding glass doors though.

      • No shards. Its probably tempered safety glass. Hard to find a modern door or window that isn’t.

        • Accountering

          Fair enough 🙂 It isn’t just as simple as tossing a brick through though, it would take some serious effort. To me, I still think they would just find an unlocked window (like they did at my house when I was burglarized.

      • These clowns will throw a brick through the window before using their hand. They may be dumb, but they’re not that stupid.

    • Yeah, they don’t build in gates anymore, not like the old brownstones that were built (at least in NYC) with heavy iron bars on the ground floor windows to start with. Think developers think they wouldn’t sell, so now you have to add your own security bars usually

      Nothing wrong with glass doors if properly secured. And haven’t you people above complaining about being seen ever hear of shades or curtains? Glass door need them, just like glass windows.

  • I know some people who live on this street and I love the area. Still some crime but a great part of the city.

  • This seems very underpriced to me, actually. That legal basement apartment is probably worth more than half the mortgage you’d need for this place; PLUS three bed/2 full baths upstairs? This looks like a great deal and I think it will go for over asking.

    (Everyone else has already said everything I’d say about the metro access, hahaha).

    • I agree. Places 2 blocks away in a sketchier direction with no outdoor space went in the 8s, and this seems nicer. I’d guess 925!

    • Hm…. even with a $180,000 downpayment, the principal+interest on this place would be $3600 a month. Can you really rent a 1-bedroom basement with one of the dumbest kitchens ever for $1800 in this neighborhood?

      • Definitely. I have 3 friends on Q st in this area renting 1br basements for 1750, 1850, and 1925 (some have utilities etc, I can’t remember). Their kitchens have don’t have the weirdness but each place has its quirks.

  • Something seems to be missing…

    • … and this is why I love PoPville.

    • Actual LOL.
      It does have the exposed brick, though!

    • You know who else had vessel sinks in his house? Adorable sweet Baby Jesus Christ.
      He used them to wash to feet of beggars, lepers, and prostitutes.
      If a vessel sink is good enough for the Lord, then it’s good enough for a winner like me.

Comments are closed.