GDoN? “bedroom closet could house a baby” edition

3426 16th Street Northwest

This unit is located at 3426 16th Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Wardman 1918 gem. Soaring ceilings. More windows that you can count. Largest foyer where you can greet 20 guest. Master bedroom closet could house a baby! Pet Friendly. It is such a treat.”

You can see more photos here.

This 2 bed/2 bath is going for $500,000 ($601 monthly fee.)

22 Comment

  • Well, yeah. Isn’t that where everyone puts their babies?

  • Only in DC could the housing market simultaneously reach an all-time high and low. Half a million for this junk.

    • That’s a little harsh. The kitchen and bathrooms could probably use a face lift, but it’s far from disgusting. I think it’s bad real estate photography- I’ve seen other units in this building and they’re gorgeous. All wood floors, high ceilings, great natural light, multiple balconies, decent views, and a great rooftop. It’s a beautiful old building, much better than the manufactured “luxury” garbage that is being built now.

      • I’m surprised at the poor quality of these photos, and the listing is a bit strange “it is such a treat.” I’ve also seen other apartments in this building and as Anon said they really are lovely.

        • I’ve noticed this with a lot of postings on PoP. It’s amazing to me how few real estate agents understand how important quality photos are in selling a unit.

          • Is it really though? Any potential buyer is going to go look at the place anyway so they can see for themselves; I imagine price and location are going to be the determining criteria, not whether the photos look superb. And just as crappy photos can make the place look worse than it really is, so can good photos make it look better than it really is. And given how easy it is to get decent photos even with a cellphone these days, I would think that agents would put more effort into it if it was actually that important. (Just mulling it over, I have no real knowledge about it.)

          • Yeah, but crappy photos might deter a potential buyer from even coming in to look at a place.

  • With all the updates needed and a $601 monthly fee, not a good deal!

    • There are 2/2s with less square footage and higher fees. The fee is not as unrealistic as you think. For this much square footage in a well constructed vintage building it’s a good price. The thing about extrapolating from condo fee to homeownership is that owning a home is not cheap and you can spend a lot of money over the course of a year on things that a condo fee would cover—tree removal (1ks of dollars), exterior painting, landscaping, buying garden tools, roof repairs, etc. You may not break even every year at this fee level but you can’t discount what a fee buys in relation to upkeep on a home. And you won’t live in a well constructed older building–you’ll be in a thrown together tract house in some carbound, God forsaken part of NoVA.

      One thing that struck me as weird—It’s odd that light switches are so close to the tub/shower stall.

  • binpetworth

    I love this building, but agree that this particular unit seems underwhelming. Having read a lot of Apartment Therapy posts, too, I know that some people get really riled up about the idea of putting kids’ beds in closets; apparently, in the event of fire, it can be dangerous as rescuers may not know to look for a person in the closet. That said, this is a nice master closet (that window!), and I wouldn’t mind sleeping in there 🙂

  • HaileUnlikely

    I really do love this building, and this is obviously livable in its present condition (i.e., can update as you wish, don’t need to drop a lot of cash on renovations just to be able to move in), however, with that condo fee you could buy roughly $650K worth of house and have about the same monthly payment. Not to say that makes it a good deal or a bad deal, but realize that this is not even approximately comparable to spending $500K on a rowhouse, it is approximately comparable to spending $650K on a rowhouse.

  • I think this is reasonable. It’s ugly, but it’s pretty cheap for the location and square footage.

  • Nobody puts baby in a corner, or a closet.

  • Ew! Electric stove!

    • I don’t get the hate for electric stoves…I’ve cooked on both, and electric is far easier to use and clean.

      • I’m no master chef, but my opinion, and as far as I can tell the prevailing opinion, is that a gas stove is much easier to use.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I don’t get why people fuss over little things that cost less than $1K to modify after buying in the context of whether something is worth half a million or not. Would you feel differently if the price were $499K, which left you with your other $1K to buy your gas stove? The listing (more detailed listings available elsewhere) indicate that they have gas hot water, so there is obviously gas service to the building. Obviously, if there were not gas service to the building, that would be a fundamentally different scenario.

          • Because you can finance all those pretty things into a 30 year mortgage with a very low interest rate. If you start adding all the little things up, it’s hard to get that much money together since you probably just dropped it on a down payment.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Fair enough if we truly are talking about lots of pretty things. The stove alone wouldn’t make it or break it for me, though. I cook a lot and have never had anything but electric. Maybe I’d have been ruined forever and hate my former self if I ever had a gas stove, but fortunately for me, I haven’t. Honestly, it is my opinion that this is not a good deal for other reasons, but the stove has absolutely nothing to do with it, and I still have a great deal of difficulty identifying with the perspective of a half-million dollar home otherwise being a good deal except for that one five hundred dollar appliance.

          • HaileUnlikely

            And there are lots of little tricks to lower your down payment by a small amount. Offer $501K and ask for a $1000 seller subsidy. Apply it to other costs at closing. To the seller that is the same thing as an offer for $500K.

          • Gas service to a building to provide gas heat and/or hot water is not the same thing as gas line going to every unit so you can get a gas stove. Many old buildings have the old communal boiler which provides heat and hot water (which are not metered separately to the residents), which can be powered by oil or gas. (I believe this building has communal heat, as I once looked to rent a condo in it.) Whether gas lines have been maintained to individual units (they likely were present in original construction in old buildings) is another matter. They are usually still there, but whether they were maintained in subsequent building-wide or individual apartment renovations is another issue. While I might live temporarily in a place with an electric stove (I did once for three years when in school), I would have to think long and hard about whether I’d buy a place that did not have gas service for gas cooking, as that is on my list of kitchen must haves for long term occupancy.

  • No central air, and very high condo fees, but not horribly overpriced.

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