GDoN? “desirable urban neighborhood” edition

1415 Chapin Street Northwest

This unit is located at 1415 Chapin Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Affordable opportunity to own in a desirable urban neighborhood between Columbia Heights, U Street, & Meridian Hill. WIthin walking distance are an amazing assortment of restaurants and shopping. This updated 1-bedroom offers high ceilings, wood floors, flexible living space, and a large bedroom. The building is pet friendly and has a great roof deck w/scenic views.”

You can see more photos here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $299,500 ($217 monthly fee).

18 Comment

  • Very good deal. The rent on a comparable apartment could easily be $500+ extra every single month.

    • Thats what im thinking
      looks like a damn good deal

    • ….assuming you have $70K in cash as a downpayment + closing costs. A first time home buyer (the type of person who would buy this) is unlikely to have that. It’s an ok deal, not especially great considering your view is of an alley.

      • Any number of programs available with low or no down payments. An investor may buy it as well and rent it out.

      • you can get home loan with as little as 3% down so no need for 70k

        • I thought in the post-bubble-burst era that it was supposed to be a lot harder to get a loan with anything less than a 20% downpayment.
          Even if it is possible to get a loan with as little as 3% down, bear in mind that if this place gets multiple offers, the seller is likely to go with the one that has the largest down payment (all other things being equal).

          • “I thought in the post-bubble-burst era that it was supposed to be a lot harder to get a loan with anything less than a 20% downpayment.”
            It is, but you can still get them.

        • Well, that would then negate the statement above:
          “The rent on a comparable apartment could easily be $500+ extra every single month.” Put down 3% and you’re looking at $2K month easily all-in (PITI+PMI).

          • You guys should really sit down with a mortgage broker or someone who can walk you through the math on this. They will do so for free. There’s a lot of people who would probably benefit from buying but don’t understand the math of it, and if you don’t think this place is priced competitively, I strongly suspect you’ve never really had someone walk you through the math.

  • I’m surprised the real estate agent didn’t recommend repainting in a neutral color. The existing colors are often distracting, especially in the living room/kitchen area where the mustard yellow meets green.
    I wonder what floor this unit is on, and whether the building has an elevator. The stair railings in the photo look very pretty, and obviously the stairs provide good exercise, but climbing numerous flights of stairs could get old after a while.

    • It’s unit 104. I think I can see bars on the windows so it’s 1st floor. Fewer stairs to climb but further from the roof deck and probably more street noise.

  • I would totally rent this place. Too bad I can’t really do the whole property owner thing right now.

  • Used to live across the street from this building. Despite all the development around it, this area is still very shady, especially at night.

    • I live next to this building (have for about a year) and don’t think the area is especially shady…

    • Friends lived down the street a while back, and it was very shady when they moved in like 7 or 8 years ago, but the area has improved a lot since then. U Street-area retail is beginning to stretch this far up 14th.

  • I wonder if there is a no rental clause attached to this, making the price lower.

  • As to whether something is a great deal or not, one should compare with other condos one can purchase, not what one would pay for rent. It is a given that you can do better on buying than renting a one-bedroom apartment if you choose to buy.

    This doesn’t seem like an unusual deal – 540 sq ft is tight, and there are many such apartments around, even bigger ones, for similar prices. Some with nice views – there are no views out windows in this photo.

    I’m going to guess this is on the first floor, as you can see the vertical bars on the windows in the photos, and they look like the ones visible in the exterior photos. I like to be higher in walk-up buildings, you usually get better light and views. I don’t like bars on my windows, and I prefer top floor for superior views and no noise above me. When you are young, the stairs don’t pose a problem even if there is no elevator – they keep you in good shape.

    Good for an investment property, maybe, but there are more attractive ones around, which get you faster rentals and higher rents.

  • Meant to say you can do better on the monthly cost if you buy. But it doesn’t always make sense to buy. If you aren’t going to be there for many years, given the taxes and other transaction costs of buying and selling, you may not come out better in the long run owning than renting if you don’t keep it long enough to recoup the transaction costs – the cash you shell out for taxes and other expenses (not counting the downpayment) when buying and selling. You only do this in a few short years when the market is going up really fast – otherwise you have to hold for some years, usual 5-10, depending on how fast the market is rising (or just staying put on value.)

    Also, the market can dip, and unless you can hold onto it long enough til prices rise again, you may have to sell for less than you paid for a place.

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